The other night I awoke to a series of sounds that had me flying out of bed to see what was going on outside.
I looked out the living room window to see a compact car literally crawling down the road. A rather loud “flup flup” could be heard from its flat tires. The vehicle pulled into an empty campsite, turned around and headed back toward the exit.
With only one street light near us, I couldn’t recognize the model or even the color of the vehicle. It would have been rather interesting (okay, funny, I admit it!) to see where the vehicle ended up and how far it got on four flat tires.
The campground where we are currently staying has gator teeth at both exits. This eliminates the need for gates, while protecting the Campers from those who did not belong – such as the compact car!
We have stayed at a few campgrounds and RV resorts that had no gate houses, gates, gator teeth or in even sign-in policies to control who was in park. These parks are prone to outside traffic – not all of which is good.
While workamping as Camp Hosts, we dealt with some issues with outside traffic. One RV resort we worked at had a shared entrance and exit and all vehicles had to check-in at the office. Campers or Visitors who had already been in the office were issued bright vehicle tags. This helped eliminate the outside traffic and kept the park safe.
One morning, during the Easter holidays, I decided to open the office earlier in anticipation of a busy day. I was just putting the key in the door when an old pickup truck filled with bicycles pulled into the park. Ignoring the check-in sign and STOP sign), the pickup continued into the campground. Fortunately my folks (and fellow Camp Hosts) were just getting on the park golf cart to do the morning rounds and heard me yell after the truck. ( By the way, if you are ever a Camp Host – yelling at fleeing vehicles doesn’t get them to stop! 😉 ) They took off after him in the golf cart and waved at him to go back to the office. He turned his pickup around in an empty RV site and pulled up to the office. Once he turned the truck engine off, the three of us walked up to the driver’s side window and asked if we could help him.
He gave us a story about visiting his local friend “Charlie”. Since I had been on office duty for several days, I knew every Camper in the park. Not only was there no one by that name registered, but every Camper during the time was actually from out-of-state or not even from the country! A handful of guests were Canadians who took their RVs across on the ferry. When I said he could come into the office and we could try to find his friend’s campsite number on the main listing, he said it “wasn’t important” and left.
We suspected he came into the park to steal bicycles, which is actually a common theft item in campgrounds. We recorded the license plate number and descriptions of the truck and driver. I called the park owner and alerted her to the situation. She figured our hunch was right and alerted authorities about the vehicle. Meanwhile, for the safety of our fellow Campers, we stopped at every campsite with bicycles, kayaks and other outside toys and reminded them to keep their items secure during their stay with us.
I know that some folks are terrified of driving over gator teeth – even the correct way. Our home camp in Florida had these for several years before a keycard entry was installed and one of my local friends refused to visit in her own vehicle for fear of “the teeth”.
Although they may be nuisance or concern for some Campers, they really are for our protection. So the next time you stay in a campground or RV resort with gator teeth or other one-way obstacles, remember they are keeping outsiders flat-out! 😉