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

Frequently Asked Questions


You can find answers to the most common pre-sale questions about Campground Master either in the list below or on the Features List.

If you're already a user and looking for an answer to a functionality issue, try the Newsletter archive. Dozens of common questions are answered there.

If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us for a prompt reply.

General Questions
Will Campground Master work in the Windows Vista and Windows 7 or 8 operating systems?
How is Campground Master unlike other reservation software?
What kind of support do you offer?
How can you stay in business if you don't charge for support?
Everyone claims theirs is "easiest to use" -- why should we believe yours is easier?
Can I set up the system myself?
How long has Campground Master been around?
How many customers do you have?
Why haven't we seen you at trade shows and advertising in the trade journals?
If I don't see my question answered here, should I call you?

Computer System & Database Questions
Will Campground Master run on my PC?
Will Campground Master run on my Mac?
Does Campground Master support networking?
Can I connect remotely, e.g. from home or another office?
Does Campground Master integrate with my web site and take online reservations?
Can I use Campground Master on two separate computers, for instance to do administration work after hours?
Can I use Campground Master on two separate computers and keep separate databases, for instance to handle a storage area separately from the campground?
Can I keep track of 2 separate parks or operations in a single database?
Do I need a constant or reliable internet connection?
Is my database private and secure?
How much can it store, and how long is it stored?
What is the database format?

Pricing & Ordering Questions
How much does it cost?
I own 2 separate campgrounds in different cities -- can I just buy an extra park license key instead of 2 copies of the software?
Are there any monthly fees, commissions, annual support or licensing fees?
Are there any setup or configuration fees?
Can you set up the system for me?
Do you charge for upgrades?
Do you charge according to the number of campsites or rooms we have?
How soon can I get Campground Master?

Functionality Questions
How do I get my map into the program?
Can I use Campground Master for dorms, motel rooms, flea markets, kennels, marinas, storage facilities, etc.?
Can it handle my different rates, add appropriate taxes, keep track of every transaction, and generate financial reports?
Can Campground Master export to accounting software like QuickBooks Pro (or Excel, etc.)?
Can Campground Master import customer and reservation data from my old reservation system?
Can I put my logo on the receipts and make other changes to the printed forms?
Are special forms or printers needed for printing receipts?
Does Campground Master support A4 and other non-US paper sizes?
Does Campground Master support 3" receipt printers and cash drawers?
Can I print monthly bills or invoices for all accounts due?
Does Campground Master do credit card processing?
Does Campground Master support bar code scanning and POS (point of sale) functions?
Does Campground Master support International date formats?
Does Campground Master support International currency formats?
Can I create my own reports like I could in Access?
If I don't see a feature I need, can it be added?
If I don't see my question answered here, should I call you?

"Campground Master is so straightforward that our managers have required almost no training (and they were not computer folks) and it just runs! Thanks for a great job!"

General Questions

Will Campground Master work in the new Windows operating systems?

Yes, Campground Master versions 4.2.2 and later are fully compatible with Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (except Windows 8 "RT" version), and Windows 10, both 32-bit and 64-bit.


How is Campground Master unlike other reservation software?

There are a lot of reasons we believe Campground Master is better than any other reservation software. In fact we've created an entire list of our unique features and reasons to choose Campground Master -- click here to learn more!


What kind of support do you offer?

We provide support by phone or E-mail, 7 days a week. Campground Master is so self-explanatory that our customers quickly learn to use the software on their own and require very little support. To keep our price low we do depend on you reading the manual to learn the basics and find answers to most questions, but do offer support when needed.


How can you stay in business if you don't charge much for support?

The initial price of our software, even though it is low, covers the support needed to help you get started and the occasional call when questions arise. Of course we also offer an upgrades & support subscription for a nominal annual fee of $100, which is optional, but most customers find that the improvements we make each year are well worth the price (and we do give more priority to supporting those current on their updates subscription). All in all, our low support costs and minimal advertising overhead means that we can continue to provide quality software at low prices for many years to come.


Everyone claims theirs is "easiest to use" -- why should we believe yours is easier?

Don't take our word for it, see what our customers say and ask for references. Also note that because we don't charge much for support, we have the best incentive imaginable to make it easy to use and bug-free -- to keep support calls to a minimum.   Now consider that our competition wants you to pay them $500/year for limited support -- they actually have a strong incentive to make their program complicated and problematic, so you keep paying for support.


Can I set up the system myself?

Yes, in fact you must set it up yourself. Campground Master's documentation contains complete details on setting up your database and options, and our support can help you through anything you have trouble with.


How long has Campground Master been around?

The first release was in 2001, and we've been improving it ever since. We've been creating quality software for 25 years, and Campground Master is a culmination of our long experience with real-time database applications.


How many customers do you have?

Campground Master has been used in over 2400 campgrounds and other businesses.


Why haven't we seen you at trade shows and advertising in the trade journals?

People find us easily enough on the internet or by word of mouth, just like you did. While the competition is spending their resources on advertising and trade shows, just trying to sell their software, we put all of our resources into making our software and service better. We believe that quality sells itself.


If I don't see my question answered here, should I call you?

Since Campground Master is considered a do-it-yourself system, we don't have sales people. We ask that you do your best to locate the answer on our web site, and also download the demo and try it out before calling the first time. Sales inquiries cut into the time needed to support customers with urgent needs. If you still have questions, contact us and we'll answer the "difficult" questions that aren't found on the web site. If your question is about a particular feature, you can also check the Feature List page, or read the documentation on our web site.


Computer System & Database Questions

Will Campground Master run on my PC?

It's designed to run on nearly any computer that runs Windows 95 or later. See the system requirements for details.


Will Campground Master run on my Mac?

While it's not designed for the Mac OS, we do have customers running it on a Mac in a Windows XP virtual machine. For instance, running Mac OS 10.5 and using VMWare Fusion. It should also work well under Parallels.


Does Campground Master support networking?

Yes, as an added-cost option. In fact, the real-time networking was designed specifically for this application to be faster and more robust than any other networked reservation system. No dedicated server is required (one of the workstations acts as a server), and if necessary any of the workstations can work offline or be changed to act as the server. Click here for more details.


Can I connect remotely, e.g. from home or another office?

Yes, since the networking is based on TCP/IP, it works the same through the internet as on a local network. Connect from home when you need to do something after hours, or connect from out of town while traveling, or even have multiple locations networked continuously. Click here for more details.


Does Campground Master integrate with my web site and take online reservations?

Yes, we recommend integrating with the real-time online reservation system Hercules, which is a real-time 2-way system, preventing any possibility of double-booking and allowing the customer to pay and get a confirmation instantly.
Click here for more detailed information.


Can I use Campground Master on two separate computers, for instance to do administration work after hours?

Yes, you can install it on multiple computers and copy the database back and forth using the built-in Backup and Restore functions. The database file is easily transferred by CD-RW, USB flash drive, or E-mail.


Can I use Campground Master on two separate computers and keep separate databases, for instance to handle a storage area separately from the campground?

Yes, a single license can be used for multiple databases as long as it's for the same park property.


Can I keep track of 2 separate parks or operations in a single database?

Yes, it can support multiple "parks", for instance a motel and a campground, in a single database. You may need to purchase an extra park license key to handle them separately.


Do I need a constant or reliable internet connection?

No, Campground Master is not a web-based ("cloud") program so it doesn't require the internet for basic operations. It runs stand-alone on your own computer, so you're in control. Of course if you have a way to connect to the internet occasionally for software updates then that would be to your benefit, but this is not required.


Is my database private and secure?

Since the database resides only on your own computer, it's as private as you want it to be. Of course if you're also connected to the internet, then we suggest using the standard security precautions to protect your computer from the typical online hazards (firewall software and anti-virus software at a minimum).


How much can it store, and how long is it stored?

All data can be stored indefinitely, though low-memory systems may need to use the built-in "Purge" function at some point. This will save a backup of all historical data and automatically clean out old closed-out transactions (typically anything more than 1 year old). The amount of data Campground Master can store before a purge is required depends on your computer's available RAM (which is also affected by other programs running at the same time). With 2 Gigabytes of RAM and a 200-site campground, we estimate at least 10 years of reservations can be stored at a time.


What is the database format?

We use a custom database design that allows Campground Master to be small and fast. Unlike SQL databases that require complicated setup and can quickly approach 90MB, making it difficult and time-consuming to back up, ours requires no server or "engine" installation and will typically be about 1MB to 5MB, which can easily be backed up or E-mailed to another computer.



Pricing & Ordering Questions

How much does it cost?

The price is under $800, no matter how many campsites or rooms you have. Additional-cost options include networking support for multiple computers and Point of Sale support (see Pricing for details).


I own 2 separate campgrounds in different cities -- can I just buy an extra park license key instead of 2 copies of the software?

No. If your parks have different addresses and the software will be installed in separate locations, then you need a full license for each installation. If you're not sure whether this applies in your situation, please give us a call.


Are there any monthly fees, commissions, annual support or licensing fees?

Once you purchase the software, it's yours and will never stop working. We will support the product by phone or E-mail as long as you use it, within reason. However, we do charge $100/year for updates & support if you want to keep getting the new versions. We won't completely deny support if you're not current on your subscription, but we do give more priority to those current on the updates & support subscription. (BTW, "within reason" means we won't re-train new employees for you each year, but you can always call if you run into a situation you need help with.)


Are there any setup or configuration fees?

Not for typical setups, because you're setting it up yourself. Anyone can do it that's reasonably familiar with computer software like word processors and spreadsheets. If you do have extremely specialized needs that require "advanced customizations" that you can't solve yourself, then there would be additional costs.


Can you set up the system for me?

No, we insist that you do the setup yourself so that you learn the software properly. This is the only way we can continue to offer it at a low cost with support included. If you simply don't have someone in your business to do it, you might consider having a local "computer guy" do it for you so you can work closely with them. Either way, it's a good idea to have a local computer technician available to handle general computer problems.


Do you charge for upgrades?

All updates within one year of purchase are free (just download the updates from this web site). After one year, we encourage you to keep updates current which only costs $100/year, and includes support. (If you want to upgrade form an older version and your updates subscription has expired, you will also need to pay an additional amount to cover upgrades to the current version.) If you can't download the updates, you can order them on CD for a small shipping and handling fee.


Do you charge according to the number of campsites or rooms we have?

No. Campground Master is sold as an off-the-shelf product, just like QuickBooks or Microsoft Access. Since there's no difference in the software's functionality whether you set up 20 or 2000 sites in the database (assuming you're doing the setup yourself), we don't feel that there should be a difference in the price we charge.


How soon can I get Campground Master?

If you download the demo version and call with a credit card order, we can usually send you an authorization code by E-mail within an hour, making the software fully functional so you can get started right away. If you order it with the printed manual and CD, that will be shipped via Priority Mail within 2 days.



Functionality Questions

How do I get my map into the program?

You can do this yourself -- all you need to start with is a background for the map, which can be as simple as drawing some lines for the roads or as fancy as a brochure or aerial photo scanned in. Then you simply tell Campground master where each site is located by clicking on the image, and the program does the rest. For more details, see the documentation here.


Can I use Campground Master for dorms, motel rooms, flea markets, kennels, marinas, storage facilities, etc.?

Yes, you can set up the "sites" to be any kind of rentable property or item, and the data attributes are flexible enough to support different kinds of sites. Any of the receipts, letters, forms, reports, etc. can be customized to fit your needs, and any special data fields required may be added. More information...


Can it handle my different rates, add appropriate taxes, keep track of every transaction, and generate financial reports?

Yes, it does all of this and more. An unlimited number of different rates is supported with lots of flexibility (site type, seasons, days of the week, customer discounts, length of stay, number of people, etc. can all be taken into account).


Can Campground Master export to accounting software like QuickBooks Pro (or Excel, etc.)?

Campground Master can export any data or report to "CSV" format (an widely-supported standard), for use in Excel or other spreadsheet/database programs. Daily transaction data can also be exported directly to QuickBooks accounting software, in the appropriate accounts. (Click here for details)


Can Campground Master import customer and reservation data from my old reservation system?

Yes, it can import any customers or reservations from CSV or tab-delimited format. This includes customers from QuickBooks or Access databases, and from any other program that can export in these common formats. ReserveRight is one example of data that has been easily imported by many of our customers. Customer data can also be imported from other systems that use a standard database file format such as Munsenware's GuestTracker or the Digital Rez software, once the data is extracted in the proper format (we can help you with this if needed).


Can I put my logo on the receipts and make other changes to the printed forms?

Yes, the Form customization features allow you to make extensive changes to the standard forms as well as design your own forms from scratch -- letters, questionnaires, hang-tags, labels, post cards and more.


Are special forms or printers needed for printing receipts?

No, all receipts and invoices are printed on plain paper, on any Windows-supported printer (the "form" is actually printed by the software).


Does Campground Master support A4 and other non-US paper sizes?

Yes, within reasonable limits you can use any paper size that your printer driver supports, and receipt forms will be adjusted accordingly.


Does Campground Master support 3" receipt printers and cash drawers?

Yes, any printer that can print from Windows is supported, or any printer with a serial or parallel interface. Most receipt printers have Windows drivers available, and a special receipt format is used to accommodate the narrow paper. Any cash drawer can be used that interfaces to the receipt printer or directly to a parallel or serial port. See here for details.


Can I print monthly bills or invoices for all accounts due?

Yes, using the Payments Due report and the batch receipt printing, or by using the Monthly Billing feature to add monthly charges automatically.


Does Campground Master do credit card processing?

Yes, you can eliminate your separate credit card terminal by using 3rd-party software that integrates with Campground Master (free software is available). We can even help you get set up with a low-cost merchant account if you don't have one yet. See here for details.


Does Campground Master support bar code scanning and POS (point of sale) functions?

Yes, with the addition of the POS module ($200), bar code scanning and inventory tracking is fully supported See here for details.


Does Campground Master support International date formats?

Yes, you can select from several date formats, with both d/m/y and m/d/y order (or 3-letter month abbreviations).


Does Campground Master support International currency formats?

Yes, it can use any currency symbol you designate (up to 3 characters, so you can use US$, CD$ etc. if desired).


Can I create my own reports like I could in Access?

Yes, the Query customization features allow you to create customized lists, search queries and cross-tab reports. Using the built-in expressions language (similar to Excel formula or Access expressions but greatly extended), you can do just about anything imaginable.


If I don't see a feature I need, can it be added?

While we often incorporate customer suggestions in new releases at no charge, any unique customization can also be done if needed. Much of this can be done yourself using the Advanced Customization features included in the program, but we can also do it for you. Contact us with your needs to get a quote.







Copyright 2001-2017 by Cottonwood Software, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Campground Master is a registered trademark of Cottonwood Software, LLC