Jan 4 2006, 09:54 AM
After having posted my displeasure with the campgrounds in New York State, and or the Northeast the subject has me thinking of a way in which the situation could be corrected. I have to believe that some sort of "standards" or "requirements" should be implemented. Now the question is,"who or whom do you give the power to enforce those standards ? Or is the system so large that operating standards could not be enforced. The system at present, with the camping industry policing their own, is not working. (namely Good Sam, KOA, Trailer Life, campground owners assn. etc, etc).
The situation at present has some boycotting the area by not returning after having been ripped off for whatever the reason. During July '05 we personally were involved in a unpleasant camping experience in New York at the "Thousand Islands " area where the owner was operating a campground under false pretenses. Charging for services, but not providing the advertised services. The Northeast has some very interesting areas to visit. New York alone has a park in the Adirondack Mts of over 6.2 million acres, a for ever wild park. We use it quite frequently, but We also go to the state of Maine every summer or fall for a month, and have for the last fifteen years. Would enjoy reading suggestions and or opinions from other RVers on this subject.
thanks, safe travels
The camper has two recourses for services that have been paid for but not provided....
1) A civil action in Small Claims for breach of contract. Since most campers are only visiting for a short time the perpetrators know this sort of reaction is highly unlikely.
2) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Personally, I've never senn where this organization does any good at all. It definitely does not get your money back.
Beyond that, I guess it is up to us campers to either go after these fraudulent campground owners/operators as a group and spread the word about a boycott.
Just remember, you can't lump ALL campgrounds from a state/region together. There are good campgrounds everywhere and we would not want to hurt those.
Jan 4 2006, 11:23 AM
Believe me, the market will take care of less than desirable campgrounds and will do so via sites such as this one. As word spreads about a specific campground, or even an area, where we are getting ripped off, folks will steer clear of it. Standards? They will be developed, in my opinion, via chains or groups of campground owners who build a reputation. As an example, look at the Best Western hotel chain. For years, mom and pop hotel operators lost business because there was no standard by which individual motels could be measured. Then, Best Western was established and went after these mom and pops, requiring specific standards, inspections, etc. Now, these small operators are doing fine for the most part and those who can't measure up lose their membership. Certainly, Trailer Life, Woodall's, and Good Sam had an opportunity to do something like this, but they blew it. KOA had standards at one time, but I think they have forgotten about them in chase of the almighty dollar. We are already beginning to see "standards" set by other specific chains. For instance, Outdoor Resorts of America can be counted on to have top flight RV parks, year after year, location after location, and people feel safe making reservations with them. These standards are coming, by whatever means, and the campground owner who does not shape up will eventually be out of business.
Jan 4 2006, 09:12 PM
I feel the same way as Beastdriver. We have great parks everyone can go to or you can stay in a dump. We only look for the best we can find. We only take a new park (new to me) for one night to start with. If the place is poor next day we use tow to find a new place close by and move. If no good campgrounds are close by we move to the next place we wish to travel into. We will not put up with poor sites or power and water problems. We all have a lot more power due to information on internet and great sites this one. Read up on the sites before you pick one, call the site and ask about the place, talk to other RV people, information is power. In the long run campground owners who do not wish to spend the bucks will be out of business as Beastdriver said. No standards = no business.
Jan 9 2006, 09:34 AM
The problem in this northeast is that if the business gos belly up, for up ever the reason, someone else purchases the below standard campground and they are off in running, doing the same as before. I have seen the same cg sold three times in a period of just over six years. The cg was maintained to stay at a status quo, but was not improved. The average individual owner will only stay in business about 5 to 7 years in this area, and will sell it and take what ever profit they retain and run. The majority of cg in the northeast are owned by people from outside the area, and are definitely not locals. They do not have an interest in anything except the money. I'm not crying poverty, but we can not afford to pay fifty or more per night for the so called resort. I do very much understand that normally you get what you pay for, but they have very little to offer me for that price. I do not need them to watch or provide entertainment for any children. We do not use their showers or washrooms, and we always find our own entertainment. The physical amenities within the cg for example, paved or well maintained wide roadways, pull throughs, long private sites, easy in and out and full hookups, should be the standard for all cgs at a reasonable price say mid 30's to mid 40's. As that does not seem feasible, I guess we will have to be satisfied with the less than A+ campgrounds. Good grief---woe is me ! Just a little humor, but I hope you have a great day.
Jan 13 2006, 11:12 AM
Maybe there is no way to set up “Standards” industry wide, but I do think if they are a Good Sam Park, or some other affiliation park, These should at least have some kind of standard to be met, rather than just paying dues. Case in point… If a Holiday Inn does not maintain their standards, then they have to cover their sign at least until they do meet the standards.
Jan 14 2006, 09:35 AM
It may be my imagination, but with Good Sam, it always seems the bigger the the better the rating. We use Trailer Life Directory but have leaned to take their rates with a grain of salt.
I find it irritating that Good Sam doesn't respond when you complain about the ratings that they have given some parks. Over the past years we have complained about a rating and they never responded.
I don't agree with some of the other posts that the bad one fall by the wayside.
There are many areas we have visited the there is no competition.
The only recourse that I feel I have is ptting every thing on a credit card. That way you may at least recover you money.
Jan 14 2006, 12:17 PM
Big Ben I totally agree with your posting. I have arrived at the conclusion that some of the people that rate the campgrounds,are either blind, and or was at another campground, or was done via the phone. For example: We were at a campground, at New York Thousand Island area in July of 2005, and the name is: Seaway Island Resort @ Fineview NY and should be avoided at all cost. I had paid by credit card for five days. After taking a good look at the place, while walking the dog the next day, we were paying for a sub-standard, aged, outdated, and a poorly maintained campground. After losing electrical power two days in a row, chose to speak to the owner about the problems. Got no where. So after staying three days of the five days, we and six other units left the next day for better accommodations. I protested the credit card charges, and refused to pay as they did not provide the services advertised and had paid for. Now at the same time we were there, Trailer Life was supposedly inspecting the campground. We saw no one inspecting anything nor did anyone new stay overnight in that cg at that same time. Is this an example of the inspection, and review procedure, and how is accomplished ? This experience was very educational, and opened my eyes to some of the problems that exist within the industry. Does not speak well for anyone who may want to visit the area. Yes I did post a short review on the campground.This establishment should not be in the campground business. I also know that we are not alone, and that many more unpleasant experiences exist. I'm grateful that this forum is available to voice your opinions on whatever subject. Thanks.
Jan 14 2006, 12:49 PM
We are staying at an Encore Park in Punta Gorda Fl. right now. We made the reservations last spring before leave the area. The park had some hurricane damage but we were assured that the club house would be repaired and the Wifi would be up and running. Some time during the summer we were notified there would be a rate increase, which we expected. What we didn't expect was that is the ONLY thing they had done. When we got here in Oct. they had not done any thing all summer EXCEPT raise the rates to over $700 a month. We couldn't find another park in the area for the season. They were all book for Feb.
We are pretty much locked in to this area because this is where our doctors are and we return here every winter for our check ups and tune ups.
They have 195 sites and only1 maintance man working 40 hrs aweek. We used to trust the Encore name but will do so no longer.
Jan 14 2006, 01:10 PM
They had to raise the rates, more than likely, to pay for the repairs within the park. Hope your winter goes well for you. We can not complain here, as the daytime temps are in the high 40's and low 50's. Overnight temps are in the high 20's and 30's. Not the norm at this time of year for upstate New York. We are going to pay dearly for this !!
Jan 14 2006, 04:50 PM
I have to concur with you that there does seem to be issues with campground standards and how to enforce them, but then again in an open market, usually reputation will weed the bad ones out, hopefully!
We personally like to stay away from KOA's and private camps as they tend to be commercialized or specialize in more family camping.
We prefer state and national forrest camps, especially in PA and VA as we also bring our pets and many states such as NJ and NY don't allow pets.
We have yet to camp in a NY state camp. The only private camp so far that we have liked was Turning Stone RV park in Sherrill, NY. Pricey, but well run!
NJ state camps plain out stink for all the money we pay in taxes....
PA and VA have great camps and not so great so a site like this really helps.
I am hoping to post more about the various camps we have been to to help others to enjoy their outtings!
Here is a link to our Vacation during Thanksgiving last year at Kiptopeke State Park in VA.http://www.picturetrail.com/bigboomer1
Jan 15 2006, 02:15 PM
Boomer - your pics of the sunsets were gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing them. Makes me want to hop in the rv and take off towards the east.
Jan 15 2006, 04:33 PM
They were awe inspiring and certainly appropriate for Thanksgiving!
The Virginia eastern shore is truly wonderful place to camp and the walks along the beach at that time of the year were very peaceful.
There were only 6 campsites occupied out of 100 and we all were spread out so it was like having the camp to ourselves.
We are looking forward to our trip to YNP/ GTNP in May!
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