11AM Campground Checkout Times – ANNOYING?
Today I’m filing a blog entry in the LongLongHoneymoon.com complaint box. Early campground checkout times are one of my chief annoyances with the camping industry.
On more than one occasion, we’ve been greeted by some guy in a golf cart, furiously rapping on our door to boot us off our site by 11AM. At times we’ve even encountered nasty confrontational attitudes! In a tip of the hat to Seinfeld, we’ll dub these overzealous characters Campground Nazis.
Let me be clear: NO MATTER WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE CAMPGROUND, THE IDEAL CHECKOUT TIME SHOULD BE 2 PM. It works well for many State parks and RV resorts – why not private campgrounds?
We’re talking about a campground, not a hotel. There’s no team of maids coming through to clean the campsite. In most cases, there’s no shortage of available campsites for new arrivals. Why shouldn’t campers be able to stay until 2PM?
For those of us who are “location independent professionals,” mornings are often important times to work. And there’s the process of hitching and breaking down camp; having a little extra time to do these chores is quite helpful. Three hours may not sound like much, but sometimes it’s the difference between a pleasant enjoyable morning and a stressful one.
For “weekend getaway” campers, a 2 PM checkout time allows folks to fully enjoy Sunday morning, and then depart after lunch.
Physically disabled campers would also benefit from the extra time to break down camp.
Yes, campground owners are free to set 11AM checkout times if they wish. But RV’ers are free to “camp” at Walmart or other such places where there are no early checkout hassles. Sure, we’d all rather stay in a REAL park, but it sucks away the fun when some “Campground Nazi” is barking orders for no good reason.
If I owned and operated a campground, I’d want my guests to have as enjoyable an experience as possible. I’d want repeat business. I’d have a 2PM (or later) checkout time.
That’s what I think. What do YOU think?
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