RV Park Realities That Make You Say “Really??”
Sometimes the RV park realities that we see leave us saying REALLY??? After three years of full-timing, we continue to say, “really??” We camp with people from all over the world and often ask each other. . .did that really just happen? Sometimes it is inexperience, sometimes it is cultural, sometimes it is an odd way to manage and/or maintain a campground/rv park/rv resort. Occasionally, it is how management can enforce the rules or when it is time to move.
Reservations Or “How Many Times Will You Have To Move Within The Same Park?”
Since we travel in our 39 ft Montana 5th wheel, there are parks that we do not fit in due to our length. Our decision is to check them out with AppleMaps, read reviews on FB and other sites, then call and make reservations. There are too many new Rv’s compared to the amount of parking spaces in parks, so availability is often limited. We called in mid winter to make reservations for the next summer. No problem, according to the owner. We left a great park in Arizona and arrived at the new park in Washington late in the spring. The owner was working alone in the office. I introduced myself and we visited for a bit. His summer staff and camp hosts were not on site yet.
Our First Clue Should Have Been.. . .
The first clue should have been that he couldn’t work the computer to get us registered. He said, “well I have a really good Excel file, but the computer is locked up.” He also gave me a copy of the rules and told me that “we always enforce the rules, especially on dogs.” I’m thinking rules are good, keeps the park nice. Ok, so we got to our assigned site and set up. Next morning I went to the office and he said, “I think it’s working again, looks like you have that site until June, then you’ll have to move to another site or two for the season.” “We are working on a new reservation system.”
Ok, not the greatest news, but we can move one time during the season I guess. Since there were only a handful of us in the park at the time and 110 sites, I wondered about his scheduling. Plus, there are many quality computer programs for reservations scheduling so why not get one? This should have been clue number two. As the summer progressed, I found out that he used to have a full time manager, but had fired him during the winter. I met the former park hosts, who were getting ready to leave. They had been terminated after about a month. Another clue? Now the park was about half full.
Time To Move Spaces
So it came time to move. Ok, down 8 spaces on the same side of the park on the same row. I checked with the office, everyone from the prior season, except the owner, were no longer working there. I saw a group from Canada come in with 8 units and they took up the space we were in and 7 others. And then after 4 days they were gone. So basically, I folded up the house and moved so that someone else could have that spot for 4 days.
A few days later, I was talking with the latest worker in the office (by then I knew the owner could not figure out the reservations because several other people had to move numerous times.) We discussed the reservation system. She said the issue was that the old Excel spreadsheet was not set up to convert from month to month, so people and reservations got lost. I told her I was not ready to move again and asked her to find one space that was empty for the rest of the season. She said the next move was across the street and down 2 spaces. I told her that wasn’t working. She promised to work on it.
Facilities and Amenities and Rule Enforcement ???
Several times I ran into the owner and said hello. Each time he introduced himself and asked who I was and which site I was in. Now, after 3 months of meeting him or seeing him go by, I would think he would remember my name or at least which space the 39 foot Montana and the shiny black F350 dually park in. How often do you see that in the rv park?
Many of the attractions to parks are the amenities. I know people who select parks that have the amenities they desire for grandkids, dogs, parking, parties, etc. We were in the swimming pool one day with the granddaughters. The four year old floated her way over to the side and found the the underwater light. I went over and took a look and it had come out of the housing and the wires were visible and floating around. Well, so far, no one had been shocked. I got ahold of the newest camp host who was walking by and pointed it out. Oh, yes, the owner is aware of the problem, but “he pushed it back in place.” It will get fixed next fall when we close the pool. WTF??? Is this not a safety issue? Well, a couple days later I saw the electrician there.
Video Camera To Enforce The Rules?
I found out there were video cameras throughout the facility used to enforce the rules. I was at the pool one day and there were a bunch of families in the water (during the approved family time). All the sudden, the owner came out of the recreation center onto the pool deck. He raced over to a Mom sitting at a table and hollered at her that her children were now “banned from the pool for jumping in.” Yes, I saw the sign “no jumping” which makes sense, but hollering and banning a 6 year old whose mother had already been monitoring the kids? Really? You throw the kids out?
The mother told him that she had already explained to the 6 year old that she had to get in easy and not jump off the side. NOPE, he said, “I’ve watched her do it several times and you are out of here.” I hadn’t seen it that way. My thought was, “Hey kids, do you want to go to the pool and have fun?” NOT SO MUCH. I found out later that he spent hours in his office monitoring the cameras for rule violations. Plus he was “lurking” in the corner of the rec center where he could monitor the pool for violations.
I will have part two of this post in a couple of days. We will talk about dog rules, campfires, crazy irrigation systems, “free” WIFI, bicycle, scooter and skateboard rules, backing in (or not). Kids and parents? Electrical hookups and open wires. Muddy sites and when is it time to move. Hope you enjoyed this post, next one is coming soon.
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