By Chuck Woodbury
I have stayed in many RV parks where the checkout time is 11 a.m. Nothing unusual about that, right? Par for the course. Now, 11 a.m. is the checkout rule at motels and hotels. They need time to make the beds and clean the toilets before the next guest shows up. Makes sense.
But RV parks? Personally, I have yet to find an RV park that offers to make my bed or clean my toilet before the next customer pulls in. When I de-park at 11 a.m., the site is ready for the next guy at 11:01.
So why the early checkout? It’s because few people in the RV park industry have figured out that’s a crummy, unfair, stupid, ridiculous, customer-unfriendly time. What will it cost a park for me to stay an extra two hours? Hmmm. . . let me think. Okay, I know: next to nothing!
But no, they want us gone ASAP, even though we pulled in the night before at dusk and plopped down half a day’s wages with the idea of getting a good night’s sleep – maybe sleeping in – and then lounging around with our coffee and croissants while the kids or grandkids play Marco Polo in the pool.
Here’s my suggestion
Let’s start a movement. The next time you make a reservation at an RV park, ask about the checkout time. If it’s 11 a.m. tell them you will gladly oblige if they promise to make your bed and clean your toilet before you depart. If they won’t, then tell them you will stay at Walmart, where you can remain all day if you want, and for free.
And while you’re at it, if you are directed to a site with neighbors so close to yours that you end up listening to the guy next door hack and snore all night, then when you leave tell the manager that the spaces are too cramped and you will never return. And if you are given a site that’s not even close to level, ask for another one, or request a 50 percent discount for hill camping, or demand a bulldozer.