Going camping this summer? Look before you book your next campsite with this ingenious online app.
Always wondering what a campground site will look like, before you show up? Traveling somewhere new, and don’t know where to camp? Hoping to nab the best spot? This website offers virtual tours of campgrounds across the country, so you can see for yourself where you’ll be setting up camp.
Founded in 2017, CampgroundViews.com calls itself the “best online directory of RV Parks and Campgrounds.” That’s a big title to live up to.
Though, its virtual tour feature could be the tool we’ve all been waiting for. And just in time for summer, the site is adding a few new tours.
Campground Views Virtual Tours
Currently, the site has a directory of over 15,000 parks and campgrounds in all 50 states, although only about 300 of those have virtual tours uploaded so far. We’ve tested the directory and mapping feature, and find this site runs pretty well. However, to find even more sites, you’ll want to put in a location (city, state).
Recognizing the big spike in RV and camping participation since the pandemic, CampgroundViews is adding more to its unique “virtual tour” feature. The site will be adding a couple hundred more parks in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Nevada over the next few weeks.
Why video tours? Well, for one, you can see what the site actually looks like. But you can also see how close your neighbors are, if there’s a view, if the site is level, if your rig or trailer will fit, and more.
CampgroundViews’ tours also have a mapping layer system for added campsite info, and you can book directly from the virtual tour feature.
“There is no shortage of campsites. There is a shortage of good information to help find available campsites,” said Mark Koep, founder of CampgroundViews.com in a press release. “This new virtual tour technology makes it easy to find a campsite — we are what would happen if Google Street View took TripAdvisor camping.”
Other online campground booking websites — like ReserveAmerica, Hipcamp, Recreation.gov — offer photos and map layouts of campgrounds to help pick a spot. But none of these sites offer 3D video tours as well. Campsite photos also tend to be uploaded by visitors and users — CampgroundViews’ videos and virtual tours are all uploaded by the site itself.
Accessing the directory, photos, videos, and booking (CampgroundViews is fully integrated with Recreation.gov) are free — but to get access to a campground’s virtual tour, you’ll have to become a CampgroundViews member.
To incentivize signups, Campground Views has early bird membership rates at half off or more. And fees range from $5-250 for a month up to a lifetime membership. Ready to try it out? Look before you book at CampgroundViews.com.