Jul 18 2010, 04:39 PM
We are now full-timers, but started out as typical weekend warriors. Have always marveled at the consternation of some vs the smooth operation of others, as they camp.
So here is my question of today. How many of us get caught unprepared by check out time?
Just watched a large family group get really 'huffy' over leaving their three RV spaces at the posted check-out time. (Noon) Now in all fairness, they had premium pull-through sites that obviously others had booked and were probably waiting patiently (?) in the distant parking lot.
They did finally tear out (as much as a truck pulling several tons of trailer can tear) around 1 pm.
Check-out time and the standard 'please pick up after your pet' are about the only rules at this particular park, and they are prominately posted on all paperwork, signs etc. (Cannot claim this rule is unfair or secret.)
Just curious how many of us push the boundaries of a campground's posted 'check-out' time.
Jul 18 2010, 05:29 PM
It depends on the campground I guess. I try to get as much done the night before to save time. I usually take the lights off the awning before bed, load up anything I do not need in the morning and check the weather. On a few occations, I have run past the check out time but have always checked with management to be sure that nobody was waiting for the site. We usually camp with 2 other couples and someone has to be the last ready to go. With 2 small kids, sometimes it is hard to keep them occupied and out of the way while packing up.
Jul 18 2010, 06:04 PM
We always check to see what time check out is, and I don't recall ever having a big problem meeting it. Course it is just the two of us, and we don't ever have a lot of stuff outside so it is pretty much unhook, pull in the slides, lower the jacks, and go.
The 11:00 or 12:00 time is not a problem for us either because if we are leaving the park we are always on the road by 9:00 to 10:00 because we almost always have 200-300 miles ahead of us. However, if I lived near the campground (1-2 hours away) I might want to stay later and get in another full day of fun. Unless the spot is reserved for the next person I would hope parks would allow people to stay late, and I do not think it would be unreasonable to charge an hourly fee for that.
Jul 19 2010, 11:41 AM
I made up a brochure for people visiting our park. Most people didn't seem to be reading them so now I tell them "here is a little brochure that we do ask you to read". It states our check out time but also says that if you need extra time please let us know in advance. We have allowed people to stay until 6 PM without extra charge. I tell people that the only time I will push you to leave by noon check out is if we have someone waiting for your spot and so far that has not happened. I have seen people abuse check out time, at other campgrounds, and don't even return from shopping until time to leave.
Jul 19 2010, 12:26 PM
Get everything packed up early, then hang around if you want until check out time. As soon as breakfast is done, I start packing. I don't need the slide out, any hookups, the awning, etc. for a few hours. After packing, I always go and take a shower so I feel clean for the trip. Never had a problem meeting noon or 11:00, even in the old tent days where I had to dry everything first.
Jul 20 2010, 06:29 AM
We always make a point to know the check out time of a campground. Our "routine" for the day we are leaving is usually... lazy breakfast, send kids to pool or playground, start packing up, Mom takes kids to camp bathrooms for one last visit while I finish hooking up, Mom and kids visit campstore for ice cream / candy while I go do dump station or finish flushing tanks, Dad picks up family by entrance near campstore, family takes off for home.
We don't plan any real activities or trips on the day we are leaving the campground. We also DON'T start a fire on the morning we leave. Sooo many times I've seen people pull out with flames or hot ashes still in their fire pit.
It took a couple years for us to learn the general rules for most campgrounds, and also the generally accepted "campground etiquette" unwritten rules. When we camp with people who are new to campgrounds, we try to gently let them know what to expect. Most are greatly surprised at the amount of rules, and we try to explain the differences between "woods" camping and a busy campground. Some people just seem to want to butt heads with management about things like check out times -- why, I am not sure.
I have usually found that a little advanced planning makes things go smoother and much more enjoyable... even if that "advanced planning" just means reading the campground rules!
Jul 20 2010, 08:36 AM
We were in the lodging business for a decade and people wanting late checkouts and early checkins were big problem. If you have two folks there wanting the same physical space, it just doesn't work. It works only when you have a lot of empty spaces. If I have 100 spaces and am full for the weekend. I also have a full crew coming ion on Sunday. If the Friday/Saturday people are still there at 3 PM when the Sunday people get there, then you end up with a lot of mad folks. I think most folks capable of thinking this thru would understand the problem. Unfortunately, we seem to have a lot of the younger generation thinking only of themselves.
Jul 20 2010, 02:58 PM
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jul 20 2010, 07:36 AM)
... Unfortunately, we seem to have a lot of the younger generation thinking only of themselves...
Sigh...was, in fact, the case we witnessed.
We've been at this park long enough to know that the owner managers give all kinds of 'wiggle room' on checking-out. Also know the pull-through sites have the heaviest bookings, and the highest probability of someone 'waiting' for the site, long before check-out.
If we're planning to stay awhile, we seek out the back-ins. No one chomping at the bit for those sites. The services are generally in better shape as well.
Jul 20 2010, 09:50 PM
We have never had any problems getting out of the site before check out time. But then we READ
the rules. I know it is shocking, but it's true.
The campground we are workamping at, check out time is 11 AM. At 12:30 PM I go around to clean fire pits and lots of people are still in the sites. Of the people whom I tell that check out time is 11 AM, 99.9% of them, their excuse is, "Oh I didn't know that."
Jul 21 2010, 06:05 AM
Yes, but the rules are not for "me" they are just for the regular people.
Jul 21 2010, 09:35 AM
It would depend on the campground, as someone else said.
If it is a weekend campground, just busy on the weekends, I can see staying after check out time. No one is going on the site anyway or they will have plenty of open sites available. I would check with the office in any case, to see if would be ok..
In a vacation area, they will have people coming in and out on any given day. You should be off the site by the check out time to allow for the campground to clean. It is a matter of courtesy. Most of the campgrounds like this have a buffer. Check out at 11:00 and no check in before 2:00.
One campground in particular is Frontier Town in Ocean City, Md. They have such a turn over the parking lot is full of trailers waiting for 2:00. The campground is full all summer long. They enforce the check out rule, because they have to.
In both of these cases I am ready to leave at the appointed time. It is a matter of it is the right thing to do and from Md. I want to beat the traffic. I'm gone about 7:30. Check out is 11:00.
Jul 21 2010, 04:14 PM
This has never been a issue with us, we've always check the check-out times and were either on our way home or one to our next destination usually by an hour before check out.
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