Editor’s Note: This blog posting was written by Levi and Natalie Henley for Mobile RVing’s The Buzz.
There are RV parks and campgrounds riddled throughout our nation. They are havens for the weary traveler to park their abode a night or longer. As full time RVers, we have stayed at a number of campgrounds and they vary widely in set-up, amenities and maintenance.
Some RV parks are the equivalent of high end resorts with all the bells and whistles. Others are polar opposite, a ghost town, and we wonder if anyone is really managing the property.
As paying customers, there are certain services that should be fulfilled with every park, not only for convenience but for the safety of all occupants.
General Park Guides
My husband and I have not only been at the customer-end of a campground transaction, we have also worked at a few as camp hosts. After a long day of traveling, incoming customers generally want to know where their site is located and where to access a particular facility or service like on-site showers/laundromat or Wi-Fi code.
As the receptionist, my immediate reaction is to hand them a park site map. The map usually includes an illustration of the campground’s layout including sites and facilities. The guide also lists park rules, the Wi-Fi password, office contact information and schedule…etc.
Whether this information is available on paper, online or posted, knowing where to locate the essentials makes for a convenient, hassle-free arrival and stay. General information boards and pamphlets take the guesswork out of a new location for tired guests and allows them to focus on setting up their rigs and settling in for the night.
Quite possibly the most convenient aspect of a campground is location, especially for travelers seeking a quick overnight stay after hours on the road, possibly fighting traffic and any unfavorable weather conditions. An RV park with easy accessibility, just off of a major interstate or just a short drive around the corner from a highway is optimal. Many RVers are not too keen with driving down a dirt path or crisscrossing neighborhood streets trying to locate a park.
In the same fashion, RV sites that overnight customers are able to pull into and drive away from easily are preferred. These sites are referred to as “pull-thrus” as opposed to “ back-ins.” Some of our most frequented parks for one night stays include well lit and well-marked pull-thru sites, usually located at or within a straight shot from the entrance of the park. Back-in sites are common in many campgrounds and serve their purpose for housing guests staying for multiple nights. Backing up into them usually involves unhooking tow vehicles and more precision with aligning the rig to the driveway. This is not fun or safe completing at night.
A telltale sign of a well-cared for RV park or campground is its overall appearance. Is the grass mowed, trashed disposed of properly, and/or roadway/RV sites smoothed out and level? On the opposite spectrum, are there weeds looming about, park guests dodging pet waste, and/or ruts making up the roads to and from each lopsided site?
The latter situation is not only an eyesore, but also a safety hazard and pest problem. A campground that mows and maintains the vegetation regularly leaves little room for bugs, spiders and ticks to make their home. Some spiders have lethal bites for the young and elderly; ticks can cause a whole host of health problems. Pet waste attracts flies and creates a minefield for those just trying to enjoy a walk. Uneven ground is a huge tripping hazard and can cause havoc on cars and RVs. RV units like a refrigerator cannot function properly if the rig is not level, as well.
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