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docj
post May 18 2013, 08:28 PM
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I understand that the owners don't want to put much money into the property, but the best solution I can think of is a gate that opens automatically when you drive in but which requires a code when you leave. If people want to drive in without stopping they're going to have a rude awakening when they try to leave.

After hours my solution would be to install a credit card reader like you find on gas pumps; after a customer has successfully processed his credit card the screen would give him the exit code for the gate.

If you really want to crack down, have the exit codes be usable for maybe 3 exits per day. That way if someone wants to share the code with his friends who just drove in he may find himself locked in.

Yes, all of this would cost money but it would be a one-time investment which would probably pay for itself. An alternative would be to find a source of "Denver Boots" and go around early in the morning and put them on vehicles that haven't checked in. Use the boots a few times and I bet word would get around that yours wasn't a CG to sneak into. laugh.gif


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Lindsay Richards
post May 18 2013, 08:35 PM
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Just shoot a couple of drive offs and word will get around.


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Fitzjohnfan
post May 18 2013, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ May 18 2013, 08:35 PM) *

Just shoot a couple of drive offs and word will get around.

Lindsay, you had my whole family laughing with that one!! Another suggestion from my XYL would be to put in those "sever tire damage will occur" spikes in the road, in your exit, and they can lowered with a button in the office.


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dalsgal
post May 19 2013, 06:56 AM
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Especially loved the "shoot em" suggestion. My bosses will not put any money into doing anything. I really like the owners but there are so many things I see that really should be done but they won't pay to fix. If I was to go around putting Denver Boot's on I might as well just stay up all night and then go knocking on doors. I have knocked on doors if I woke up during the night and saw an RV out there that I hadn't registered.

Any gate we put up would also inhibit people from being able to even park in a few, rarely used, campsites. Because we are not a destination campground and located in a very small town, most of our people are permanent so these guys are in and out a lot going to work, school or just to shop so changing the codes would be a chore. I was chatting with one couple that came in for overnight and they asked if we had any permanent campers here. I told them yes and asked if they could tell which one. They couldn't and were surprised when I told them they were the only overnighters that evening. My husband and I work very hard to make this place look good and can't afford to pay for upgrades ourselves. We already have had to buy many of our own equipment for keeping up the yard.

I thank all of you for your suggestions and your understanding. It is good to feel there are others that see "sneak in's" as someone trying to steal.
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kcmoedoe
post May 19 2013, 10:06 AM
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Unfortunately, the owner is correct in this situation. Any rock solid solution is going to cost many times more than what is actually lost when someone steals the services. The actual cost of service theft is the cost of the utilities they actually use. The best solution is agressive management of the park. A late night or early morning drive through with a note on the door that they need "forgot" to pay at the late check in box and that their license numbers have been recorded along with the amount they owe for one night will be sufficent to get most to pay. The other few are just chucked up to a loss, cost of doing business.
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Nolan
post May 19 2013, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE(dalsgal @ May 17 2013, 05:25 PM) *

I work 9 hours a day as it is. If people had their way I would never leave the office. I am on call 24/365 and am always available for people to check in. I think that is sufficient for people wanting to camp here. This is a small CG and my husband and I are the only employees. The office is closed on Sundays except for people wanting to camp here and I can't leave the property without having calls forwarded to a cell phone. I don't mind getting up in the middle of the night to check someone in but I don't want to have to be out there at 6 or 7 AM so that someone can pay in the morning. I do have grass to cut, bathrooms to clean and other duties that I like to do before I open at 10 AM.

In TX there is a law called theft of service. If you leave without paying you can be prosecuted. The bad part is the two times I have tried to do that for someone the Sheriff's department tells me it is a civil matter and they won't do anything about it. They don't want to bother with helping us. The DA agreed that we had a case this last time but the head Sheriff said our policy is not proper (the tenant signed and agreed to the policy) and he convince the DA to do nothing. I have spent hours already trying to get something done.


It doesn't surprise me about the Sheriff's dept.

Where is your husband in all this? Husband would go in around 6 to 7 AM and then you come in around 10 AM. Then he could go out do maintenance and mowing chores. Workamped for a couple and this was their schedule.



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jim crowl
post May 19 2013, 05:32 PM
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I have always stopped at the office to check in upon arrival at private parks, and just assumed this was common If I anticipated arrival after typical office hours, I would call, and often have been told "just go ahead and stop in and pay in the morning" which was appreciated. One park owner/manager who has her phone number listed in big letters on the office door for after hours , and will come down and open till about 10pm for late arrivals said that she had people arrive at 11pm, not pay, and pull out at 6am to avoid payment. She said that if people are that desperate then they can have her spot, but questioned how much enjoyment they got out of their stay.

The idea of parking first is more the norm at many of the public campgrounds in Western states. You generally select a spot then return and pay for it within say 30 minutes or less. However even in these parks there are people who try to cheat the system as there are often fines levied if discovered.

I grew up in an era where you paid for gas after filling up not before, and it was considered rude and unnecessary to ask guests to pay for a motel room till they were ready to leave in the morning. I still think the RV community as a whole must still have high standards, as RV parks are one of the few places that almost everyone gladly accepts out of state checks.
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Lindsay Richards
post May 19 2013, 05:38 PM
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Jim Crowl, unfortunately the world you and I grew up in no longer exists.


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dalsgal
post May 20 2013, 09:57 AM
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"Where is your husband in all this? Husband would go in around 6 to 7 AM and then you come in around 10 AM. Then he could go out do maintenance and mowing chores. Workamped for a couple and this was their schedule. "

The office is open from 10 AM til 7 Pm. What more should we do. Those hours are 6 days a week. We both do all the yard work, all the maintenance, all the office work and we are the only ones working here.We start working between 7 and 8 outside to keep the lawn up. Do you think we should work 24 hrs a day for what little pay we get now? We get one check for the both of us and I think that the hours we put in are plenty. Now that the pool is open I have to be on duty even longer because I have to lock it down and clean up that area at night. With our campsite provided, with electric, about $400.00 a month and $1000.00 check we figure that we make less than $4.00 per hour and that is not each, that is shared between us. Sorry but I'm glad I don't work for you.
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Texasrvers
post May 20 2013, 11:06 AM
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I sympathize with your situation. The owners really need to step up and get you some help—either security equipment or personnel. That said I also understand that it may be a bit of an inconvenience if one of your guests needs to leave before 10am and needs something from the office. So would it be possible to split the office hours. Come in at 7; stay open until about 15-30 min after your checkout time; stay closed until around 3pm when people start stopping, and then stay open until 7pm. During the time the office is closed, I assume you would still be on site doing other things, so you could have a notice on the office to “call this number for service,” and that way people could still reach you. Just a suggestion. And BTW, I also think it is absolutely horrible that people would try to come in late and leave early to avoid paying.
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dalsgal
post May 20 2013, 01:25 PM
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Everyone knows that if they need me they can use the phone on the porch to reach me at any hour. There is a sign on the porch with the number and it is also on the brochure that I wrote to hand out to people when they sign in. We live about 30 steps from the office so I get to the office really fast, day or night. I also fill propane tanks so there is no way I can close the office for a few hours during the day.
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Glenn Norton
post May 20 2013, 05:02 PM
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Have you tried using traffic cones to block access to the sites? That might get expensive if you have more than a few sites to block, but it might deter a few people that don't stop at the office.
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dalsgal
post May 20 2013, 05:37 PM
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Yes we have used cones. They just get out and move them, and in some cases, take them with them.
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FosterImposters
post May 20 2013, 06:16 PM
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We encountered a park, in which the check-in process was accomplished on the other side of a busy interstate from the park. It was a 24/7 gas station, with the clerk managing everything from cig and slurpy purchases, to campsite payments.
These folks kept the electrical pedestal, and the water turn-on device locked.
Unregistered guests could pull in and park, but that was it.
You got a key upon payment.
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edcornflake
post May 21 2013, 12:10 PM
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What about a fake camera (available at home dpot for a few bucks) pointing at the exit, and a sign - "Parking overnight without paying is a criminal offense. Your license plate is recoreded upon exit"

Would the owners spend ~ $20 for a solution taht COULD have an ROI of 1 stolen night?

the scofflaws don't have to know that the sheriff is lazy and unhelpful. As Veronica said to Dante in Clerks: "Honesty through paranoia."
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