After reading that title, you’re probably thinking… Gordon Ramsay is doing a show on campgrounds and RV resorts now? No, not yet anyways (although if you do, Gordon, I would be happy to give you a list of campgrounds in need of your help!). But anyone who has done a bit of RVing has encountered a campground or two that truly is a nightmare.
Sometimes it is the campground itself – such as the location. Maybe it’s like the one we recently visited in Mississippi. The one that advertised Southern charm, yet neglected to mention it was located at the end of an airport runway. Or the one in Texas that bragged on being the place to get plenty of rest only it didn’t say that you had to sleep during the day, because the campground was located beside railroad tracks that were active at night.
Even if the location is ideal, sometimes it is the condition of the campground that is a nightmare. Like the campground in Pennsylvania that had water pressure drop to 20 (and the managers said that was completely safe!) or the one in Alabama that was as high as 120 and the majority of Campers had busted hoses…or the one in Florida where you had to “share” your cable with other campsites… or another in Florida where the WiFi “hotspot” is actually under a tree in the middle of the RV park… But those are nothing compared to the parks that have advertised on-site security or gates where we have had even bolted-down items stolen – from license plates to our main electrical cord!
And don’t even get me started on the whole “Big Rig Friendly” terminology! Most campgrounds and RV parks have really taken advantage of this phrase, misleading those RVers with truly Big Rigs into situations that require backing-up and even scraping their RV or poles and trees.
Although sometimes it is the staff members who make your campground visit a nightmare. Like the time we stopped at a campground in Virginia and politely asked the clerk for a Big Rig pull-thru for the night. She said people like us needed to “just go to a truck stop”… so we did! Ha! And the so-called RV resort in Texas where we were told to move twice and then given a site we couldn’t even plug in our electric cord. And the staff member told us that he didn’t care if we couldn’t plug in, we were still getting charged extra for 50 amp service! Or the staff member at a RV park in Maryland who started screaming at us that we were going to “jackknife” as we turned around to leave their park. I wish I would have taken a video of the maniac screaming at us. I’m sure that would have gone viral!
And recently we have learned that even though the folks appear friendly, they aren’t necessarily! Like the RV resort in Alabama where the folks welcome you with popcorn and a newspaper… only to talk about you on the radio as soon as you leave the office. We had turned our radios on in order to communicate directions (back-in site) and surprise, surprise… the folks were talking about us and a few other check-ins… and not in a good way! Unfortunately, since then, we have found that many parks use their radios to complain about the guests. From whining about having to fill propane bottles (Duh! Isn’t that your job?!) to talking about putting the guests on “troubled” sites intentionally because they don’t like them… we have been hearing it all the last couple months!
Now, some campgrounds you may never even get to. Either the directions are wrong or the staff member on the phone can’t give you directions. We are still looking for a campground in North Carolina… maybe it moved South? And that can be a nightmare, especially if you end up backing down some curvy, mountain road in the middle of the night… and, yes, that’s been done with this rig a few times before!
Sometimes it is the campground guests that make it a nightmare. I will admit, sometimes it isn’t the guest’s fault, especially when campsites are so close together. It is hard to be quiet when your slides are on-top of each other. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be a good neighbor. Like the woman in Washington who wanted to know what antenna TV channels we got. Instead of coming over to our site and knocking on our door… she opened her slide-window, took a cane and pounded on our door. Imagine our surprise when we answered the door to see a cane poking out a window at us. Close neighbor, yes… good neighbor, no. Or the folks in Virginia who parked their golf cart under our master bedroom slide because they were, well, frankly, morons.
And, don’t get me started on… oh, heck, why not? Yes, let me get started on that! Perhaps someone can explain it to me. Why is it that some Campers with outside TVs and radios leave them on (and loudly) when they are gone for the day? If it is for security, then lock your RV door! If anything, people know you are gone and will take your TV or radio! Duh! It just makes you a lousy and stupid neighbor. (Although, I will applaud a few RV parks that will even go to the extreme of turning off your electrical breaker if you leave an outdoor TV or radio on unattended.) I’m not saying you need to be library-quiet during your campground stay, but at least be respectful of your neighbors.
I must say, that even though we have been to hundreds of campgrounds – from dry camps to high-end RV resorts – there is not one that is perfect. There will always be something left to grumble about – whether it is the park’s condition, the staff or other Campers. But after all these years, we have learned to take the bad with the good. So try to stay a Happy Camper and, remember, if you visit a RV park in Maryland and a maniac starts screaming at you – get it on video!