Last year, our friend Anna Fader of Mommy Poppins fame posted about her positive experience with Tentrr on Facebook. The service functions like Airbnb, except for campsites, and if that sounds like a brilliant idea, you’re right. Particularly for those of us who love the idea of camping — but not all the setting up of all the things.
So a couple of weeks ago, I finally booked a Tentrr site in Glen Spey, New York for a little quality time with two of my kids.
If you’re wondering if Tentrr is a service that you might want to use for your own family, here’s my own experience with it.
Related: How to use Airbnb to book your next family vacation
How does Tentrr work?
If you used vacation rental sites like Homeaway or Airbnb, then the Tentrr booking experience will be very familiar to you. When you enter the site, you’ll enter your dates, and then pick from locations currently all in the northeast — NY, CT, PA, and NJ.
You can peruse photos of the sites, plus read the reviews, then make a reservation. You’ll be connected with the owner or site manager, who’ll confirm, then assist you with whatever you need for your stay.
Prices start around $100/night.
What do you get with Tentrr?
When you book a Tentrr campsite, you get two tents, one of which is elevated, and includes a queen-sized blow-up mattress, a camp toilet, a sun shower, a grill, a dry food closet, plus chairs and a table of some kind. Depending on the campsite you pick, you can also add on items like fishing poles or even a movie projector.
You’re responsible for bringing food and bedding, plus anything else you want to have at your campsite. (Hat tip to Cool Mom Eats for all the awesome camping recipe ideas.)
When you arrive at your site, everything is set up for you by Tentrr and ready for you to use, so all you have to do is drag your bags out of your car, haul your cooler, wrangle your kids, and get camping!
Related: 5 smart dos and don’ts to save you money on your next vacation
How was our Tentrr experience overall?
I decided on staying at the Mongaup River Camp after reading several reviews. I wanted a location that was a bit of a drive for us (around 3 hours) so we could really feel like we were away. Plus, lots of reviewers mentioned the waterfalls, as well as swimming and fishing, which was a big deal to me.
Once we booked, we heard from the campsite contact, who answered lots of my questions, and sent along specific directions along with a list of local activities and places to eat. She also warned me that there was no cell phone signal there, and boy was she right. Which, hey, nothing wrong with a forced break from the Internet — but also tricky to find where you’re going when you can’t rely on your maps app.
The view outside my campsite. Waterfalls are nature’s white noise machine!
When we arrived, everything was set up as I had expected, except a little messy due to the large amount of rainfall the previous week.
The site was as beautiful as the photos, and even though we hit a few minor snafus (like expecting there to be firewood, but never considering that it would be soaking wet), we had a great time. It was such a positive experience for my two kids — who generally do not get along. Camping really forced them to work together and as a parent, that was a wonderful, unexpected result of our trip!
Another small problem was that I never received my rented fishing poles which was a bummer, since I paid extra for them. The only other minor issue was that since the camp was already set up (as in, it probably doesn’t get taken down between campers), it wasn’t tidied up as I had expected. And well, one of the tents was full of spiders.
So, we all squeezed onto the one queen mattress and oof — between the heat and the rain, it was… not a restful first night.
So that’s definitely the disadvantage to using a service like Tentrr where your camping stuff is already set up. It’s definitely a factor to consider, especially if the weather has been crappy.
I do think it’s a fair expectation that the camp site owners will clean up a bit between renters, beyond just changing the trash and toilet bags.
To be clear however, my experience was specific to my particular campsite. So just as with Airbnb, you could get an awesome place and an awesome owner…or a not-so-great one. Also, camping isn’t the cleanest activity in the world to begin with, so you know, you’re not glamping here.
Related: 8 amazing hotels you need to visit with kids before they grow up.
The bottom line about Tentrr
Just a 5-minute hike from our camp site. Beautiful!
I think that Tentrr is a brilliant, and overall well-executed concept for any families who value the idea of camping and the experiences it provides, but maybe don’t have the skills or patience to set up a campsite. Be sure to check reviews before booking, just as you would with any other short-term vacation rental service.
I’m also curious to see Tentrr’s expansion plans, which will mean families beyond the northeast can take advantage of their service as well.
For around $300 (search for a coupon code like the one I found on Mommy Poppins), we ended up with a really enjoyable 72-hour getaway, a camping experience I might not have had otherwise, and best of all, I got in some awesome quality time with two of my kids.
Thank you for the insight on Tentrr. I’ve been wondering about what it’s like from a mom’s perspective!
Hello Fellow Campers, I had heard about tentrr from a friend a couple of months ago, he was a little off with the details though. He described it more of couch surfing in someones back yard than actual camping. As of Sept 3, 2019 tentrr has made it to California and several other states. Some areas are very reasonably prices $20-$55 but some are way over priced at $150+ per night. I can rent a cabin in peak season for $75. fyi, if you are going to rent your yard to “campers” check you local codes and ordinances. have fun
Great review. My family and I just established The Magic Glamp, to see: http://www.themagicglamp.com near Saratoga/Lake George NY. If you ever come up this way, let us know, and we’ll give you a little extra special treatment.
At this time, It’s hard being a Tentrr provider. The executives are not involved, they changed almost everything after we signed up for our $6,500 investment, and no one wants to listen/help us with any issues. They are tough to communicate with. If we have a problem, they don’t get back to us for weeks sometimes. That’s a few of the *easy* issues from a CampKeeper’s point of view. However, I would definitely stay at a Tentrr ANYWHERE before a hotel.
I promise, if you come here, it will be clean and nice, and you will have brand new *clean* Egyptian Cotton sheets to sleep on, and warm banana bread waiting for you when you arrive 🙂
Curious on the quality of the tent. I have property and am looking to do this and would like to know your opinion on the quality of their tents ect, they say all is supplied to the property owner for a substantial fee.
Thank you for your article and any firther imput you may have.
After 18 months of being up the tent began to fail at the seams. I had one replaced already and the one I just put up two seasons ago is already showing the same wear. Tentrrs response to the seams disintegrating was have you tried a patch kit that we have on the Mercantile site? Unfortunately there is nothing to patch it’s disintegrating. The tents are from Colorado tent. When I contacted them they said that they are not meant to be up year round And they recommend a fly to go over the tent. In my opinion if they recommend a fly tentrr should supply it when they put the tent up. The customer service at tentrr is awful. The 2020 season which was been very busy for me because I’m close to New York City was unbearable. Reservations were made that I never knew of. People expected extras that I Never knew they had requested, I had no contact with the campers at all no phone number no name no email. Every reservation I got I had to call and hope that somebody attention would pick up the phone and tell me what these people had requested. Most recently in November a repeat camper tried to book the site for memorial day and was unable to do so. After a whole season of me doing all the work customer service should have I was not happy giving them 20% they offered zero support. One of the managers actually had the nerve to say to me then why do you keep Being a camp keeper? She is young and dumb so therefore I just let it go. The first two years were a breeze, all they said this year was our computer system isn’t working. I had over 50 reservations this past season and every single one was screwed up. I don’t know what it’s like to be in outback camp keeper, but at least you get what you pay for meaning I think $6500 is outrageous! Hopefully 2021 will have Tentrr getting their ducks in a row. One of the worst things I had to deal with was that the staff was off on weekends when practically every person who is a Tentrr campkeeper needed support the most. On the positive side they do pay on time, they do offer a $2 million commercial liability insurance, and I don’t have to advertise at all.
I am interested in becoming a Tentrr host. Would you be able to contact me to help me make that decision? 50 reservations sounds great, but sounds like it comes with a lot of headaches! You mention that you think the $6500 is outrageous. What do you think is the actual value of the package you received from Tentrr? Doesn’t Tentrr replace the tents if they wear out?
Also, Kristen, thanks for your helpful review from the camper mom perspective. My goal is to help families get out and camp without all the headaches that sometimes make camping frustrating — especially for mom!
3 years later and the price has jumped to 12K for their best plan. This includes shipping and taxes. Are you still a host? Has their host support improved? Thanks for the input!
We are interested in becoming a signature site as well. What have you found out in the past two weeks?