High Fees Plus Deposit Plus Electric!

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by abbygolden, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. abbygolden

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    Starting tomorrow, I'll be using a park for about two months that changes what I consider to be a pretty high monthly rate ($525) plus it charges a $150 deposit and electric. I've never even been to a park that charged for electric much less a deposit. I'm used to $400-500$ monthly at excellent parks and that includes wifi, etc. I've paid as much as $600 but that was a ripoff near Mesa Verde.

    Why am I going to pay that much? Because the area I'm staying in doesn't have any other parks that come to the standard that I'm used to. This place certainly doesn't look like anything over the top as it is all concrete but it's in the location I want to be so I have little choice. My main choices are this place or returning home to central Texas and the 100 temps.

    I don't go east of the Mississippi so I don't know what it is back east, but this is a first for me out west (I'm in Oregon). I exclude CA because ... I exclude CA.
     
  2. kcmoedoe

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    Depending on how you manage your electricity, you probably will spend less than $600.00 per month. I am sure the deposit is an electricity deposit, so you don't just leave in the middle of the night and leave the park holding the bag on the electric bill. Pay the bill and you will get your $150.00 back. Many parks have moved to metered electric for longer term stays. People do strange things when they don't have to pay for it. Like leaving the doors and windows open and running the AC full blast. I seasonally stay at a park where they had to put a selector switch on the air condtioning and heater controls in their cabins because people would crank up both the heat and the air conditioning at the same time. If the park is clean and neat, the utilities work as expected and the place is safe, I don't really think $17.00 a day plus electricity is out of line. It is way more in a lot of places.
     
  3. joez

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    QUOTE
    I'll be using a park for about two months that changes what I consider to be a pretty high monthly rate ($525) plus it charges a $150 deposit and electric.


    We typically stay monthly in commercial campgrounds. Monthly rates are essentially determined by locality. All similar parks in an area will be about the same price normally, paid in full for the month at check in. Most charge extra for electric (metered) with a monthly rate, and a deposit for the electric ($150 is typical) is normal. We would not have blinked at what you found unusual.
     
  4. abbygolden

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    QUOTE(joez @ Jun 30 2011, 01:49 PM) [snapback]26648[/snapback]

    We typically stay monthly in commercial campgrounds. Monthly rates are essentially determined by locality. All similar parks in an area will be about the same price normally, paid in full for the month at check in. Most charge extra for electric (metered) with a monthly rate, and a deposit for the electric ($150 is typical) is normal. We would not have blinked at what you found unusual.



    In over 30 years of RVing in one style or another, this is only the second time that I've had to pay for electric, and both were this year. The first time was in a park in CA on my way to the OR coast. I had no choice about going through CA as I wanted to see Yosemite, but now that "tick" mark is off my bucket list and I will see CA no more.

    I can only assume - dangerous as we all know - that since the prices I listed are not unusual to you that most, if not all your camping is done east of the Mississippi or in CA. Needless to say, I've not been to all the RV places in the west, but I've been to a great many and have friends who have to many more. They all agree with me regarding the costs, electric, and deposit.

    I guess I can understand that if a park has been burned by campers leaving without paying that they would charge a deposit. It's too bad this country has come to that, but I guess it's a fact of life.

    I'm not a camper per se. I go from point A to point B and stay there for a minimum of a month, frequently staying in excess of three months. I always research where I will be staying and did in this case as well, so I'm not complaining so much as stating facts as I know them. Hopefully I'll agree that this place is worth the extra cost - and in this part of the country monthly rates are generally in the $350-400 range unless it is a membership park - and just enjoy it.

    FWIW, the RV "Resort" in which I've stayed for the past month fits the bill for me regarding cost, no deposit or electric. I can look out my window and see - not to mention walk to - the beach. It has great wifi, wonderful staff, spotless park, etc. That's what I expect every time I go somewhere and I've rarely been disappointed.
     
  5. Texasrvers

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    As my name implies, we are from Texas, and the only time we have stayed at a park long term was in Texas for 6 months in 2003. That is way too far back to remember any rates, and they would not be valid now anyway, but my point is that even back then we paid a monthly fee for the space, and the electricity was metered and billed separately. I do not remember if there was a deposit, but I do know this arrangement was actually to our advantage. If the RV park had included electricity in the site fee, they would have tacked on an amount that was sure to cover the usage without any regard to whether the actual usage met that amount or not. I do not know if your monthly fee is high or not, but I do not think it is an uncommon to practice to charge separately for electricity for monthly stays.
     
  6. abbygolden

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    My name doesn't imply it, but I'm also from Texas. The fact that I'm on the Oregon coast shows that I have at least a little good sense to get away from there during the summer! ;) Let's see, 103 there vs 65 and the beach here. Hmmmm, tough choice - NOT!

    Different strokes for different folks as I'd much rather pay one price for all amenities including electric, wifi, etc. If that means I pay more, that's fine as I'll probably not know anyway unless a park decides to give me an option as to which why I'd rather pay.
     
  7. Traveling man

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    Yes, everywhere is not as cheap as Texas. I crossed into Texas a couple weeks ago and decided to eat breakfast out since I camped for free at one of the delightful state picnic grounds. A good cafe breakfast with generous portions of great sausage cost me $4.99, and the coffee was 50 cents. It's one of the few states I still see 35 and 50 cent coke machines.

    The monthly park rates vary quite a bit depending on location, so that may not be unreasonable. I've been charged electric on month long stays, but it's always ended up under a dollar a day for me. The time I was charged a deposit it was $50. You will get your deposit back, so your cost is the monthly rate plus electric.

    I was actually charged electric once on a daily stay. The full hookup rate was only about $11, and the manager came out and read the meter in the morning, and charged me 62 cents for power. I thought why don't they just add an extra dollar and save themselves some work, but imagine some people conserve more if they know they are paying for it.
     
  8. zavsgran

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    I am an RV Park owner, 3 yrs. ago we installed meters after we received an electric bill in the amount of over $8000.00. If we hadn't we would have gone out of business. I have witnessed people using a large electric heater during the winter while in their underwear with the doors and windows open, I have also seen the same scenario in the summer with 3 air conditioners. I do not however charge a deposit.
     
  9. JDRobar

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    Zavsgran, I believe you have given a classic example of what happens when budgetary constraints are not placed on individuals. Some will still act responsible, and then there are others that will tend to maximize their own pleasure, at the expense of others. I prefer to pay for what I use. If someone wants to be irresponsible, let them learn it is expensive instead of asking me to pay part of their bill.

    I wish it were otherwise. I too would like to keep things simple, but as energy becomes a more and more significant part of our budgets, we need to make sure we use it wisely.

    Sorry, I'll get off my soap box.
     
  10. dbnck

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    My experience is the opposite of the OP's. I've been fulltiming for 8 years now, the great majority of it west of the Mississippi, and I've almost never seen an RV park that doesn't charge for electric on monthly stays. I know I've seen it, but I can't remember any specific parks--it's been that rare.

    I was in Arrey, New Mexico, recently (near Truth or Consequences) and had metered electric on daily rates. In the two county RV parks in South Padre Island, Texas, electric is included in daily rates, but you pay metered electric on both weekly and monthly rates, plus a deposit that the charge for electricity gets deducted from.

    At the Oak Forest RV Park in Austin, they have designated monthly sites for $330 plus electric plus $100 deposit, or you can get one of the open concrete transient sites in the front for $600 including electricity.

    And jim crowl, look closely at the soft drink machines that charge 35 or 50 cents--I've seen them, too, but upon closer inspection noticed they're for store-brand drinks, not Coke. But central/south Texas does have HEB stores, which have everyday low prices (I recently did a direct comparison between HEB and Walmart in Round Rock on both food and non-food items and HEB was the same or sometimes a cent or two lower) AND they don't make you have one of those stupid store loyalty cards to get the good prices AND they have a store-brand root beer made with sugar instead of corn syrup, for $2.50 for a 12-pack, that is very good. I think they have a cola, too, but I haven't tried it, preferring to stick with sugar Dr Pepper, not available at HEB. :(
     
  11. abbygolden

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    QUOTE(dbnck @ Jul 11 2011, 08:24 PM) [snapback]26742[/snapback]

    My experience is the opposite of the OP's. I've been fulltiming for 8 years now, the great majority of it west of the Mississippi, and I've almost never seen an RV park that doesn't charge for electric on monthly stays. I know I've seen it, but I can't remember any specific parks--it's been that rare.

    I was in Arrey, New Mexico, recently (near Truth or Consequences) and had metered electric on daily rates. In the two county RV parks in South Padre Island, Texas, electric is included in daily rates, but you pay metered electric on both weekly and monthly rates, plus a deposit that the charge for electricity gets deducted from.

    At the Oak Forest RV Park in Austin, they have designated monthly sites for $330 plus electric plus $100 deposit, or you can get one of the open concrete transient sites in the front for $600 including electricity.

    And jim crowl, look closely at the soft drink machines that charge 35 or 50 cents--I've seen them, too, but upon closer inspection noticed they're for store-brand drinks, not Coke. But central/south Texas does have HEB stores, which have everyday low prices (I recently did a direct comparison between HEB and Walmart in Round Rock on both food and non-food items and HEB was the same or sometimes a cent or two lower) AND they don't make you have one of those stupid store loyalty cards to get the good prices AND they have a store-brand root beer made with sugar instead of corn syrup, for $2.50 for a 12-pack, that is very good. I think they have a cola, too, but I haven't tried it, preferring to stick with sugar Dr Pepper, not available at HEB. :(



    HEB, my favorite grocery store, has a "loyalty" card that gives you a discount on gas and money back based on the amount you spend on the card. You aren't "required" to have the card but you're crazy not to. If one were to shop for groceries in WalMart and get the same at HEB, you would save money at WalMart by a long shot. This is particularly true for prepackaged items. I don't care for the quality of produce or meats at WM, hence the reason I shop at HEB.

    As far as camping in Texas and their fees, I don't because I live there. ALL my RVing is west of the Mississippi and to me this is a coming trend (pay for electric, etc). I spoke with the owner where I'm currently staying and he told me that they had been burned six times in the past year with people literally leaving in the middle of the night without paying for electric and didn't want that to happen again, hence the deposit (which you receive back when you leave).

    While I'm not wild about the deposit or paying for electric I guess I'll just have to live with it. It's too bad that it is caused by your fellow RVers who can't be trusted to pay their obligation.
     
  12. dbnck

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    QUOTE(abbygolden @ Jul 12 2011, 11:08 AM) [snapback]26743[/snapback]

    HEB, my favorite grocery store, has a "loyalty" card that gives you a discount on gas and money back based on the amount you spend on the card. You aren't "required" to have the card but you're crazy not to. If one were to shop for groceries in WalMart and get the same at HEB, you would save money at WalMart by a long shot. This is particularly true for prepackaged items. I don't care for the quality of produce or meats at WM, hence the reason I shop at HEB.


    Not to go too far off topic, but I'd never heard of an HEB loyalty card so I looked it up. Apparently it's only for Waco stores. From the FAQ:

    I don't live in Waco. Can I collect points at any H-E-B?
    Points Club Rewards™ by H-E-B is currently only available at Waco H-E-B stores. ... Currently, point collection is available at H-E-B stores in Waco. Although we don't have plans to expand the program into other parts of Texas at this time, we will keep our customers informed of any changes to those plans.


    At least that explains why I hadn't heard of it! It doesn't explain why they have it only in Waco. Is there competition up there?

    As for saving money at Walmart over HEB, I took my shopping list to a Walmart and an HEB about a mile away from each other in Round Rock. HEB had the same or sometimes lower price (never a higher price) on every item I looked at. I don't have the list any more, but what I remember were Swiffer dusters, Ziploc bags, Spray & Wash, Pop-tarts, Macaroni Grill piccata chicken dinner thing in a box (not frozen), and organic milk.

    I'm normally not such a close shopper but I happened to be right by the Walmart and had some time to kill, so I decided to check it out and write down the prices before I went to HEB to do the shopping. I was surprised by the results because I'd always thought Walmart would be cheaper than any place on household items. I was even surprised by the Pop-tarts because Walmart typically prices the stuff that's bad for you pretty aggressively.

    As for paying for electricity, a bunch of people are switching to residential refrigerators because of the fire danger of the propane ones, and I've read a lot of discussion about how much power the two different types use. I was shocked to learn that the double-wide Norcold I have uses about 8 kwh/day. At 10 cents/kwh (the cheapest rate I've come across), that's $24 a month just for the refrigerator! I know it varies depending on ambient temperature and sun and all that, but it still sounds like a pig to me.

    As a comparison, my 1,050 Watts of solar panels generate about 3.6 kwh on an average good day and we can usually live indefinitely on that--the refrigerator alone uses about twice that.
     
  13. dog bone

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    This has nothing to about electric, just extra charges. There is a campground in Ocean City, Md. That charges $104 bucks a night just to have your awning open up toward the water, bay not ocean. Granted, it is a nice view, I know the area, but then they charge a premium fee of 5 bucks a day. I don't get. What's next pay to use the pool.
     
  14. abbygolden

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    QUOTE(dbnck @ Jul 13 2011, 04:10 PM) [snapback]26761[/snapback]

    Not to go too far off topic, but I'd never heard of an HEB loyalty card so I looked it up. Apparently it's only for Waco stores. From the FAQ:

    I don't live in Waco. Can I collect points at any H-E-B?
    Points Club Rewards™ by H-E-B is currently only available at Waco H-E-B stores. ... Currently, point collection is available at H-E-B stores in Waco. Although we don't have plans to expand the program into other parts of Texas at this time, we will keep our customers informed of any changes to those plans.


    At least that explains why I hadn't heard of it! It doesn't explain why they have it only in Waco. Is there competition up there?


    Their web site needs to be updated. There isn't a HEB you can go to that DOESN'T honor it's own cards. I live near Austin (just up the road from Round Rock) and use it all the time. While HEB is generally competitive with WalMart, when you find it in upscale communities, which is quite common, it doesn't compare with WM. It all depends on what floats your boat.
     
  15. Tweetie13

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    QUOTE(abbygolden @ Jul 14 2011, 02:41 PM) [snapback]26771[/snapback]

    Their web site needs to be updated. There isn't a HEB you can go to that DOESN'T honor it's own cards. I live near Austin (just up the road from Round Rock) and use it all the time. While HEB is generally competitive with WalMart, when you find it in upscale communities, which is quite common, it doesn't compare with WM. It all depends on what floats your boat.






    Greetings...

    Just thought I would put in my two cents...The discussion has piqued my curiosity, so I'm volunteering some additional information regarding the HEB food store chain.

    I spent the last month traveling through southern Texas and shopped occasionally at HEB. I was in Corpus Christi and decided to buy some groceries at the HEB located at 1145 Waldron Rd. When I drove by the HEB fuel station to get into the store entrance, I noticed a sign on the fuels station's roof that offered a generous discount on your fuel purchase when you present your HEB card (I forget the actual name of the card right now). I went inside the store, gathered my purchases and presented them to the cashier. I was curious about this wonderful reward card, so I asked the cashier to explain the program to me. The young woman looked at me like I was from Mars and emphatically told me there was no such reward program for HEB. I didn't want to take up any more of the cashier's time because there was a bit of a line of people anxious to complete their own transactions, so I put on my smiley face, said "thank you", and left the store.

    I just got off the phone after speaking with several employees of the Corpus Christi store, and each agreed that:
    1) the pharmacy had a discount program similar to the one Walgreen's has
    2) the sign on the fuel station's roof was for fuel purchases made with a HEB store credit card
    3) as far as each of them knew, there was no grocery purchase reward card system in place for HEB

    The phone number for the store is (361) 939-5500. The cashier's name is Lauren G., and I also spoke with Lydia and Irma.

    So.....make of it what you will. Have a great day!
     
  16. dbnck

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    QUOTE(Tweetie13 @ Jul 15 2011, 05:07 PM) [snapback]26781[/snapback]

    I spent the last month traveling through southern Texas and shopped occasionally at HEB. I was in Corpus Christi and decided to buy some groceries at the HEB located at 1145 Waldron Rd.


    What a lovely time to be traveling through south Texas!

    Veering wildly off topic here, but that HEB is something else. A Canadian I was camped next to once went on and on about the amazing sausage section they had there. He couldn't get over it.

    I bought some towels for the RV--I'd looked for years for some that were 23" wide or less so they'd fit on my towel rack without bunching, and were regular sized but not too thick, so they'd dry faster (although they'll never dry in Corpus, period). HEB to the rescue, and a friend of mine actually said she liked them (kind of a floral print) before she knew they were pretty much made to order AND cheap.

    Then again, another friend saw a man in the cafe section open a package of hot dog wieners and proceed to eat every one of them, straight out of the package, no bun, no sides. That's Corpus for you.

    For those who don't know, H-E-B is named for the founder, H. E. Butt. We call it Butt-mart in our household, and you know how Walgreens calls their store brand stuff "Wal-phed" for sudafed, etc? Well, we now consider all generics as if they came from HEB, hence "butt-profen." :p
     
  17. abbygolden

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    Let's see if I can put this HEB loyalty card thing to rest.

    They have a CREDIT CARD (Master Card in my case) which gives you an automatic 3 cents per gallon off at their service stations and also for every 100$ you spend you get $1 credit on a grocery card. For example (since my math is not very good), for every $10,000 you charge you get $100 credit card mailed to you. If you, like me, use your credit card for major purchases (and pay them immediately), it's a good deal. On a "good" year, I can get three $100 credit cards back from them.

    This loyalty card isn't like a Safeway card where you can instantly see what you "saved" when you purchase an item, but rather it is a credit card that can be used anywhere for anything, but is best for use at HEB. Not unlike many other gas and grocery cards.

    Tell Lauren, Lydia, and Irma that they need to investigate a little further what their store offers.
     
  18. dbnck

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    QUOTE(abbygolden @ Jul 16 2011, 12:38 PM) [snapback]26793[/snapback]

    Let's see if I can put this HEB loyalty card thing to rest.

    They have a CREDIT CARD (Master Card in my case) which gives you an automatic 3 cents per gallon off at their service stations and also for every 100$ you spend you get $1 credit on a grocery card.

    In our defense (and in defense of the employees in Corpus), you never said it was a credit card; all of our discussion was in reference to a loyalty card, which the vast majority of supermarkets across the country DO have and HEB does not. Everybody pays the same price at HEB--there are no "sale" prices available only to people who have loyalty cards. Well, except in Waco, for some reason. Never have gotten to the bottom of that.
     
  19. Tweetie13

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    QUOTE(dbnck @ Jul 16 2011, 08:56 PM) [snapback]26797[/snapback]

    In our defense (and in defense of the employees in Corpus), you never said it was a credit card; all of our discussion was in reference to a loyalty card, which the vast majority of supermarkets across the country DO have and HEB does not. Everybody pays the same price at HEB--there are no "sale" prices available only to people who have loyalty cards. Well, except in Waco, for some reason. Never have gotten to the bottom of that.





    Hey - thanks for unmuddying the water here, dbnck. You are absolutely right on several counts.

    1) I'd rather be traveling up north where it's a heck of a lot cooler, but ... since my husband is the driver and wanted to head east this way, I sit in the passenger seat and say "Ooooo" and "Ahhhh" as we pass by all of the wonderful flora and fauna throughout the south.

    2) I must admit that I was a bit confused with this "loyalty" card business. If it had been immediately identified as a credit card, then we would probably all have been on the same page of, hopefully, the same book... I'm with you on this one.

    3) Some sad news for you...I don't know how we managed to do it, but when I checked my sales receipt from HEB, I found I had saved $1.72 in "OUR BRAND SAVINGS" and $2.83 in "ON SALE SAVINGS". So, alas, items do go on sale at HEB...

    4) I enjoyed reading of your experience at HEB in Corpus. What a hoot! Hot dogs with no mustard??? Eeeeeeuuuwwww...hopefully they were on sale...

    Keep in touch. I like ya!
     
  20. abbygolden

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    QUOTE(dbnck @ Jul 16 2011, 08:56 PM) [snapback]26797[/snapback]

    In our defense (and in defense of the employees in Corpus), you never said it was a credit card; all of our discussion was in reference to a loyalty card, which the vast majority of supermarkets across the country DO have and HEB does not. Everybody pays the same price at HEB--there are no "sale" prices available only to people who have loyalty cards. Well, except in Waco, for some reason. Never have gotten to the bottom of that.



    I didn't realize any defense was needed, and, read #3 above. I don't care any more about this topic but I can gaurantee you that you can take any credit card other than a HEB one into HEB to shop and not get a grocery card from them back. Call it what you want, but to me that is just another loyalty card, perhaps clothed in a credit card cloak. My intent when responding to this subject was to set the story straight that some employees didn't know the whole story and there may be some snowbirds who would be interested in saving some money by getting a grocery card back after spending "x" amount over the winter.

    All of which brings up another (to me) interesting point. We were shopping in Fred Meyers in Florence, OR yesterday and remarked to the cashier how much we liked the store more than Safeway. Somehow the conversation got to national chain grocery stores in Texas, such as Kroger and Safeway. We have neither in my area as they both went under in the region years ago and I couldn't think of another national brand.

    Is anyone aware of one or is it just the Austin area that doesn't seem to have them? Or could it be my memory?

    For those of you who are suffering from the heat and drought, it hasn't been above 66 on the Oregon coast yet this summer. Life is good!
     

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