Campground Master
Reservation Software for RV Parks and Campgrounds
by Cottonwood Software

Campground Master Buying Guide

If you're not sure where to start or who to contact, or have some questions about what options you might need, this guide should help.

Where do I Start?

Step 1 : Browse -- We don't have dedicated sales people (no "hard sells" here -- one reason for the low price), so if you're new to Campground Master we recommend that you start by browsing this page, then the pages linked at the bottom for more information.

Step 2 : Demo -- If you want to see how it works for yourself, download the free demo and play with it. It will let you try almost all functions of the program.

Step 3 : 30-day Trial -- If you like the demo, request a free 30-day trial and set it up for your own park. This will get you familiar with the setup process and allow you to make sure it will do exactly what you need.

Step 4 : Browse again -- You'll probably have more questions before ordering -- so come back here to see if your remaining questions are answered. If not, E-mail us with a list (or call if necessary, but E-mail is preferred).

Step 5 : Purchase -- Once you're completely satisfied, you can simply order online. For other ordering options, see the Pricing and Ordering Information page.

The Basics

What does it cost? -- The cost of the main software license is $795, if you're comfortable with downloading and can use the online or in-program Help so you don't need the printed manual and CD. That allows you to use Campground Master on a single computer. If you need it with a printed manual & CD, it's $890 + shipping.

Are there any monthly fees? -- No.

Do I need a manual? -- This is more of a personal choice. The online/electronic help (available on our web site as well as in the program itself through Help / Help Topics) contains everything that's in the printed manual, plus a lot more -- such as the Newsletter archive. The electronic Help is also more useful because it has embedded links to related topics, making it easy to browse around and find the detailed information you need. And don't forget that you can press the F1 key on any screen to get right to the documentation for that function.

Do I need a CD? -- The short answer is no, unless you have no way to download the software and get it to the computer you need it on. Any CD we send you will be obsolete in less than a year (each update installs the full software so the original CD is never needed), and you can always re-install by downloading it from our web site.

What about support? -- Support and updates are included for the first year. After that you will receive an E-mail notice to renew support and updates, which is only $100/year. Also see our support information page.

Who sets it up? -- Campground Master is sold as a self-guided program, so you will be doing the setup. The documentation has extensive information with a Setup Checklist and other guides to aid in setup, but you can contact us for support if you need specific help with something. See our support page for more details.

Can I get training? -- Hands-on training is not available from us. That's what the documentation is for, and Campground Master is designed for self-supporting individuals with time to learn on their own. If you absolutely need someone to come out and train you or set it up, contact us and we can refer you to an independent consultant who may be able to come out and help you.

What else might I need?

Can I use it on multiple computers (Networking)? -- If you need to use it on multiple computers (either in the same office or remotely), and need them to stay in sync with each other, then you need the Networking option (one-time cost of $500 for the first 3, $100 each additional after that).

Can I access it from home or on the road? -- With the Networking option (above), you can link to your main computer through the Internet and use it just like you're in the office, without disrupting other people using it. However if you will be the only one using it, then you might not need networking -- just use a remote-access software like TeamViewer to "remote in" to your office computer when needed.

Store sales and inventory (POS option)? -- The basic software already includes "transactions" functionality to handle entering rent and other charges, as well as simple merchandise charges. But if you have a store or sell more than a dozen or so items, you may want the POS option to make sales easier, track inventory, report inventory sales, etc. This software option is $300. You may also want POS hardware like a bar code scanner, cash drawer, etc. See the Hardware page or contact us for details.

How about a map? -- Campground Master can show an interactive map with site occupancy status, starting with your own map as the background. If you already have a map of some kind (brochure, image on your web site, etc), that may be usable in Campground Master. It would just need to be converted to the right format (we can do that for you), then it can be used in Campground Master. From there you would simply use the Map Setup function to add "indicators" on it so you can see the live status and click to make reservations.

Credit Card Processing

Some call this "POS", but don't confuse it with our POS option for merchandise/inventory support. You can integrate "credit card processing" without adding the POS option (but of course it will work with the POS option as well). You don't have to process cards through Campground Master, but it does streamline things. If you want to do so, you must use one of the processors we support directly, or the gateway (Merchantware) that will allow you to use most other services. There is no additional cost from us to integration credit card processing.

Who do I contact about credit cards? -- Since that's separate from us, you need to contact the providers directly to get rates, pricing, and get set up with them. See the credit card processing page for contact information and details about their services.

Where do I get the credit card terminal? -- For the new chip cards, you'll get the new readers directly from the credit card provider. (If you have a standalone terminal now, that won't work with Campground Master.) See the credit card processing page for contact information.

Can I just use a mag swipe? -- For now, yes -- but you won't have the protection provided with chip cards, and you may eventually need to switch anyway. If you want to just use a swipe for now, see our hardware information (you can purchase it from us).

Online Reservations from my web site

The Campground Master program is your front desk software. It doesn't do the online reservations itself, but will integrate with the Hercules online system so that it will be seamless -- as if it's all one system. See the Online Reservations information page for more information.

What is the cost of online reservations? -- Since that's done through a separate company, you will need to contact them for current details (there is no additional cost from us). At the time of this writing it was $500 for setup and 4% commission on each reservation. See the Online Reservations information page for contact information.

How do I get online reservations set up? -- Since that's done through a separate company, you will need to contact them to get that process started (once they do the setup for you, there will be minor configuration in Campground Master to link them). See the Online Reservations information page for details.

What if I have more questions?

Start by checking these other pages that are packed with information:

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Campground Master?

Quick-Start Guide to basic functions

Detailed features list

Pricing and order information

Using Campground Master for Hotels, Marinas, Flea Markets, Kennels, etc.

If you still have questions, please contact us (E-mail is preferred).

"This is a great system we love it. You may be interested to know that one Australian firm which we were considering wanted AUD $4000.00 for only a chart... plus $1000.00 annually for support. Your Campground Master is 99% what we wanted."
- J. Bergin
Mountway Holiday Apartments
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