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Old 03-14-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
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Reserve America – PA, OH, NY and IN State Parks

Figured I would pass this along as we have many members that camp both in NY, PA, OH and IN or some combination of them. If you have not logged into your account lately, you may want to try and see if it all works and you’re not locked out.

The issue:

In Dec 2014. Ohio switched from their prior reservation system to Reserve America.
http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/parks-home/...rvation-system

In Feb 2015, PA switched to Reserve America who use to also be on the same system as Ohio.
Improvements Make Pennsylvania State Park Online Reservation More Consumer-Friendly -- HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

We do most of our camping in State Parks and frequent OH,PA,NY and IN. I will try and make this as simple as possible. It has taken me a month and a half to sort out all my reservation system accounts.

What Happened when OH and PA converted

NY and IN have been on Reserve America (RA) for a while. IN converted not long ago. Maybe a year or more. My user name was my email and then you have a password (PW). Both NY and IN could be the same user name and PW in both states in the RA system. You logged in the correct state portal into the RA system and all was fine. That is until OH came on line.

I have active reservations in OH, NY and PA all booked prior to the conversions.
  • My OH account locked me out after the conversion to Reserve America. It will no longer recognize my user name as my email.
  • My PA account also locked me out. It will no longer recognize my user name as my email.
  • In this process, both NY and IN ended up getting locked out which all worked fine before.
After 3 calls back to the Ohio SP system I sorted out Ohio. I had to use a new email address as my user name was already taken in the RA system by NY and IN. A bug exists in the software that has not yet been fixed. Time frame: end of January

Now in Feb, my PA account is locked up. They cannot use the same email/user name as OH or NY/IN. They fudge my user name by 1 digit and now PA works. But this goofs up IN.

Then call IN and they have to tweak my user name to be a digit different then OH or PA. I can get in and all works fine in IN. This now goofed the NY system and I was locked out.

Today I called NY which always worked and now come to find out, my NY reservations show up using the IN user name and password…. Back to same concept it used to be between NY and IN, they could match, just not anything like OH or PA.

End Result Findings:
  • If you camp in OH and PA state parks, they now use the Reserve America state park portal to RA. As of today a bug exists in the system that you cannot have the same user name in both states, it must be shifted by a digit or two. Exp, them add a 1 after your address or drop a letter. (.com1 or .co) It also cannot be the same as NY or IN. When you log into a state where the user name does not match your email, it will give you an error that your user name and email does not match. There is a link that says “Keep my current user name and continue” you can use that and get into your account. Your user name will need to stay this way until the bug gets fixed. The park systems have no idea when the fix will come or how to tell us. You just keep asking or leave it as is.
  • If your home state is PA or OH, the first park system you converted can be OK as user name and password can match as long as it is not a NY or IN user name. If you add OH or PA pending state, the second state has to have a digit change.
  • If you have NY and IN, both these 2 states are fine. They can use the same user name and password as each other like they used to. BUT they have to be different then OH or PA.
The good news in this, none of my reservations were affected. I was sweating bullets that they were goofed up. Not seeing them in your account is a very UN-nerving feeling. Now all is fine.

Hope this helps and happy camping this year.

John
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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I was concerned about this too. The reservations I made before they converted don't show up. I intend to make a phone call to make sure they're intact. I do have them printed out, but that won't help if we arrive at out very popular site 35 at RB Winter and someone is already camped on it. Naturally this only effects the reservations were made very far in advance so that we could get a certain site that's almost never available.
As far as I can tell the only way to make reservations for PA State parks now is through Resserve America. Correct? Which of course means there's now a pesky reservation fee.
WRT Virginia I got the unhappy news that as of 2015 they charge $5 extra for out of state residents. Plus their pet fee. So if you have a dog and are out of state it's now $40/night for water and electric site at Claytor Lake. We don't have a pet but many people do. That just seems ridiculous for a state park.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:04 AM   #3
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Pam,

If your PA account does not show your reservations, start calling.... I have Black Moshannon and Promised Land and now after this is sorted out, they do show up.

Charging for on line reservations, we have always had to do this. OH has been doing it ever since on line reservations started. And being out of state... NY, PA and IN get me... All the parks are after more $$$

I think NY even has a parking fee... I forget. Not much you can do but pay it...

I have not yet brought VA into on line reservations. Will in the not to distant future. What really made me nervous was what the PA parks system lady started to tell me, you have to have a different email address for every account... I asked, if I camp in 20 states that RA uses, I need to have 20 email accounts... Well that is not the case. The issue is OH and PA at least have this bug in the system. NY and IN are fine.

With both PA and OH converting to RA the call in help desk does not yet know all the issues. NY and IN have been on a while. Once the PA lady talked to her supervisor she learned the add or drop a digit trick and it works.

Good luck and report back. I'm sure there are more bugs yet to be sorted out. You at least got in. I couldn't
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:00 PM   #4
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I have confirmation that the 3 PA State Park reservations that are not showing up do still exist. The reservation clerk can see them but I can't. Since I have printouts and verbal confirmation I'm no longer concerned. It seems to be a glitch with the changeover, and won't be a problem going forward.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:40 PM   #5
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John,


Thanks for the heads-up on the ReserveAmerica system. We have a PA DCNR reservation account and also a RA account in NY, however, because our vocations basically only allow for overnighters on weekdays we haven't used them very much so we would have been in for a surprise the next time we logged in.


Had to laugh at the title of the linked article about the switchover to RA in PA. In PA, the words "more consumer-friendly" when used by the state government almost always translates into "more money in the state coffers." While we think that the DCNR does a great job here, especially with the state park campgrounds, PA is taxing (and "feeing") its resident every way to sundown and much of those fees seem to disappear and never benefit the entities which the state claims that they will benefit.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:10 AM   #6
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We had the same problem with reservations that we made last year not showing up on RA. All prior reservations are in tact, just can't see them. And at least for now, there is no reservation fee. As for "consumer friendly" I think the old system was better.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
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Mike, Thanks for the correction on the reservation fee! It must be controlled by each state. You're right in that PA has no fee. But VA does, and it's not refundable. So, if you need to cancel a VA reservation you lose that $5 as well as the $10 cancellation fee. (Depending on how early you cancel)
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
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Problems here too, I've forgotten exactly what, but I remember having to make phone calls (once I located a phone number to sort things out).

Steve, Barbara and I like camping at Shenendoah River SP, but when we went to book a date for this spring, we found the cost for 2 nights would be $91.00. We think that's getting a little steep for a state park (although this place is very well maintained and it's relatively new) but the out of state fee adds to an already high rate, so we will be there for the fall colors, but we'll keep it to one trip this year.
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