From editor: Update Aug. 4, 2020: Below the video at the end of this post is a link to the website page of the Montrose – San Juan RV Resort where the owners have explained their side of the story.
By Chuck Woodbury
In all my years of RVing I have never come across a story like the one I am about to tell you. Be sure to watch the video below, at least the first half.
Jason Epperson, wife, Abby, and their three children were camped at the Montrose – San Juan RV Resort in Montrose, Colorado. While there, they were enjoying short sightseeing outings.
But then Jason’s computer died. He and Abby, full-time RVers, are popular podcasters with a website to maintain (RVmiles.com). They needed the computer, a Mac Pro in Jason’s case, which was not available locally. So he ordered online. FedEx would deliver it the next day. He had seen nothing on the park website that indicated a product delivery was prohibited.
FedEx showed up on schedule, but the park office would not accept the package. So the driver drove back outside the gate, called Jason, who then walked out to fetch it. After that, he and Abby packed the kids in the car and left for a day in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
When they returned, an email from the park notified them that they had broken a park rule that prohibits deliveries. They were ordered to leave by 1 p.m. the next day. Jason was upset, but not overly so, and says he was not threatening to Tom, the manager who he tried to reason with. He was “stone cold to me,” said Jason. “You broke the rule. Leave.”
Jason later read those rules, but the shipping reference was under the category “Long term Campers, Lodge and Cabin Occupants.” It read: “Campers cannot use the park address as residence or for mail or package delivery.” Jason and Abby were only there for a few days, not long term. So what rule did they break?
THEY NO LONGER WANTED to stay, anyway. But when sheriff deputies in three patrol cars showed up to escort them out the gate, that was a bit much! Their kids were scared. “We told them the officers were just doing their jobs,” said Jason.
“It will be a long time before we make peace with the stress and fear they placed in our son,” the couple wrote on their YouTube post. “We did our best to make sure he understood he was safe, we were safe, and that our home could easily move quickly, but it was a hard night for him. We can let everything else go, we can laugh at the situation, but it’s hard to stomach what Tom did to our kid.”
The park said it would not refund their prepaid rent for the next four days, about $200. Jason and Abby have since asked their credit card company to stop payment.
Jason talked to a park neighbor who said she had rented a space for a short time, then had mechanical problems and couldn’t leave. “They made me read the park rules out loud as a condition to stay,” she told Jason. Reviews of the park at Yelp.com reveal similar tales along with a rating of 1.5 stars out of 5.
I urge you to watch the video Jason and Abby streamed live as they were leaving. As you will see, they were incredulous at the treatment they received for simply ordering a package delivery.
We called the park several times throughout the day yesterday for a comment, but only got voicemail. The video has received 70,000 or so views already, so perhaps the park does not want to deal with angry phone calls.
Update August 4, 2020: Here is a link to the website page of the Montrose – San Juan RV Resort where the owners have stated their side of the story.
The link to the park works (sort of). I think they may have pulled their page (can’t say I blame them). This is an AWFUL and STUPID rule anyway! What’s the harm I ask?
Boycott this park and identify other parks that are totally ignorant to “real life” issues. What a sad story and to have the police escort them out of the park in front of other campers. I would packed up and left in protest.
What about food delivery? I do Uber Eats and many times have driven right up to the rig and dropped off food. I have one overzealous guard stop me at the gate and I left the food right there. Other than that most places don’t seem to have this problem.
READ THE WHOLE CONTRACT AND KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SIGNING!!! IT’S NOR YOUR PARK!! IF YOU WANT DIFFERANT RULES OPEN YOUR OWN PARK OR STAY SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!
He wasn’t a long term camper! You need to comprehend what happened.
I got a ‘lifetime ban’ from the main RV park in a good sized, midwestern city for commenting about their very noticeable placement of a ‘MAGA’ hat in their office. After that, I wasn’t going to stay there again, but it just showed that owners can be petty, vindictive little people.
I think that if this happened to us we would first be shocked then pissed. We definitely would have packed up as soon as we got the email and left and we definitely would demand our money back and if they refused WE would call the police. We never read the rules and usually what ever my husbands brings in the motor home from the office goes in the trash when we get parked. Sometimes we have to dig it out to get the WiFi code😉! We travel with three 50 lbs dogs and the only thing we look for are the fur kid rules. We stayed in a park that had a 2 pet limit and our neighbor saw that we had three and said something to us about it.. and we both at the exact time went SHHHHHHHHHHH! And she laughed. We are going to a class A resort next week that has a 2 pet limit and my husband used another email to ask if we could stay if we had 3 dogs and they answered about a week later and said “ we will allow another dog” and you bet we are keeping that email.
The full narrative text of the Montrose County Sheriff’s Incident Report. We have redacted our friend’s name for his privacy, and one swear word in case it gets flagged by YouTube:
On 07/29/2020, at approximately 1607 hours, WestCo Dispatch Center informed me of a disturbance, at 22045 Highway 550, in the County of Montrose, Colorado. Dispatch advised, an irate male party was being verbally aggressive at that location.
Deputies responded to that address, where we contacted Tommy Vail (DOB: 09/06/1951). Tommy stated, he is the owner of the RV Resort at this address, and he had a party violate the resort’s policy on receiving mail at the resort. Tommy stated, Jason Epperson (DOB: 11/06/1980) attempted to have mail sent to him at the resort, which is expressly forbidden in the reservation agreement Jason signed prior to his arrival at the resort. Tommy said the office refused the package, but Jason received it outside the gates anyway despite the policy violation.
Tommy stated, when he informed Jason of the violation, another party who is travelling with Jason, later identified as XXXXXX XXXXXXXX (DOB: XX/XX/XXXX) became irate and began yelling at Tommy. Tommy stated Robert used swear words, and there were small children around during the confrontation, which Tommy stated he will not tolerate at his resort. Tommy stated he wanted both XXXXXX and Jason’s parties to leave the resort due to the policy violation and subsequent disturbance that was created.
I then contacted Jason, who told a very similar story to what Tommy had stated. Jason told me, he frequently stays in RV Parks, and in the past there has never been an issue with receiving mail at one. Jason stated he understands he should have read the park policies more thoroughly, but said the section which prohibits mail being sent to guests is in the section titled “Long-term visitors” and Jason was only planning to stay for a few days, so he did not read that part.
When the delivery driver called him, Jason went out to get his package and did not think anything more of it. Jason stated he expected the park to be nicer about the violation and give them a warning or have a discussion about it, rather than just sending an e-mail and then asking them to leave. Jason said XXXXXX took offense to the way the complaint was handled, and when he vocalized this to resort employees, he used one swear word. Jason said the response from the park was disproportionate to the offense, and he felt the whole situation was ridiculous. Jason asked what would happen if he refused to leave, and told me the RV he stays in is his “domicile” so he cannot be made to leave unless he is legally evicted. I advised Jason, as he was a guest of the resort and had simply made a reservation, he could not be considered a tenant or resident at the address.
As the owner, Tommy, was stating he wanted Jason and his traveling companions off the property, if he refused Jason could be cited for trespassing. Jason stated he disagreed with this, but stated they would leave because he did not want further problems.
Deputies spoke with XXXXXX, who advised them, Jason ordered a Macbook, to be delivered to the RV resort. When it arrived, the office refused the delivery, stating it was against policy. At this point, the delivery driver contacted Jason by phone and arranged to meet with him outside the gates to deliver his package. The resort owner found out about the delivery and sent Jason an e-mail stating he was in violation of resort rules, and advising him he needed to leave.
XXXXXX heard about the email and became agitated, because he did not feel the response from Tommy was fair and felt Jason should be allowed to remain in the resort despite his violation. XXXXXX stated he confronted Tommy, and said “this is fXXXing ridiculous” and at that point Tommy contacted law enforcement. Deputies asked if any threats were made, and XXXXXX stated no. Deputies asked if it was physical, and XXXXXX again said no.
Deputies informed both parties they were being asked to leave, and they stated the process of packing their campers was likely to take several hours.
XXXXXX expressed to me that he did not want deputies present around his children, who he stated are home schooled and would be affected by law enforcement being near them. I advised XXXXXX, the park owner had given deputies permission to be on the premises and as long as we were performing duties related to our job, our presence could not be avoided. Deputies remained on scene until XXXXXX and Jason’s parties had left the resort. As they left, Tommy advised deputies XXXXXX was recording out his window and yelling profanities at resort staff. Deputies then cleared the call without further incident.
BOND AMOUNT: n/a
Victim Notification Form? n/a
Victim Rights Pamphlet? n/a
/s/ Deputy S. Belcher Post# B3088-2486
CASE STATUS: Cleared non-criminal
That is what they updated us with.
There are other campgrounds in the state that allow deliveries and there are no problems.
This campground seems to be run by a bunch of over the top bullies.
I always thought that Hotels, Restaurants, and RV Parks understood the word HOSPITALITY. Guess this place doesn’t treat guests that way. I won’t pay money to have a stay at a concentration camp.
I want to thank Chuck for this and the community for the support.
To be clear: we are fine with the rule. It’s one we’ve often seen in our 4-years full-time. I made an assumption (based on the many permanently parked rigs) that I shouldn’t have. It was late, my computer was broken, and the website rules didn’t mention packages. I absolutely should have asked.
When the driver called me to let me know I could get it outside the gate, I actually thought it was the campground’s idea, and was grateful, until I received the eviction email. This isn’t about the rule, it’s about the absurd over-reaction. They were mad I got away with it.
Their statement is ludicrous. Nobody badgered the police. We offered them water and shade under our awning. They left our sites early because things were civil. We were hardly in the place for there to be complaints about our kids. If you have doubts about our story, please read many of the past reviews of this place.
Every pancake has two sides. Did any of you read the response provided by the park? I bet not.
I did and you can tell they are full of hot air. Other people have had the same issues with the park. Read the reviews for the place the owners are insane.
Well this is quite interesting. So there are reviews setting out how horrible this park is? How terrible the managers are? You have seen and read them? Yet these campers, who apparently travel/camp for their YouTube channel didn’t check out this park before staying there? Or perhaps they did and they camped there? If the place is so terrible, and of course all reviews, as we know, are 100% accurate and tell the whole story, why would you stay here? How is it they are still open? And of course the park called the cops to come … just for the fun of it. Here’s a suggestion, try getting all the facts and information before jumping to conclusions. We have seen how that works out. Check out the Tawana Brawley story for a history lesson.
It really sickens me to see the power of YouTube vloggers and people who thrive on negativity. Judge them right at the outset. Don’t bother getting the other side of the story. Let’s tear the business apart. Sickening.
Hi, Patrick. We didn’t hear about the park’s side of the story until Wed. We included a link in our article as soon as we heard the other side, but that was after most people had read what we first posted. We’re doing a follow-up. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com
I would appreciate it if you would. Whatever the truth is. These reviews and YouTuber videos trashing businesses with only part of the story has to stop. One of these days, one of these businesses is going to get in to see a lawyer..Tell the whole story. Tell the truth. The park reported cursing and even an assault. Do they have videos of this encounter? Did other campers witness the exchange? Send me out there, I’ll be happy to try to piece together what took place.
Patrick, we don’t totally trust reviews either, and we saw the “under new management” on their website, and that the name had changed, so we gave them the benefit of the doubt. Please read the other issues people have had with this place. Evicted for riding their bike in the wrong place, for showing up after 5:30, for sharing the gate code with their brother, for setting a grill out. We are very positive people and have never had any sort of issue like this. And we were evicted before any confrontation via email. The campground’s statement is absurd. There is no video of the encounter because we didn’t think there would be anything to worry about. We thought maybe it was a misunderstanding. We offered the officers drinks and shade. They left our sites early because it was peaceful, as evidenced in our video. We’re good people who don’t want this to happen to someone else.
Hi, Patrick. As noted at the top of today’s newsletter, we will have an update to this story next Sunday. —Diane at RVtravel.com
It would be great if you could leave reviews on this park in Campendium and Campground Reviews. I used these sites and know many of my RV friends do so also.
Go down the road to Gunnison to Lakeside RV Park next to Blue Mesa Reservoir. We workcamped there one summer. Pat and Stan are the nicest people in the world and I guarantee you if you wanted to ship an entire Amazon warehouse to their campground they wouldn’t have a problem with it. They are real people. Like most of the people in Gunnison-Montrose area. We loved it there.
Dennis, we are booked into that park in September. Thanks for confirming what I thought after I made my reservation on the phone. Nicest lady I talked to and the park looks like it will be great.
Reply To all posts/comments on YouTube, Facebook, GMB, including any other Social Platforms regarding the incident at Montrose San-Juan RV Park on 7/29/2020.
As the full Reply is too long for this Post you can find a copy of the reply at our Website.
You mean the intellectually dishonest wall of garbage on your website.
Thank you for posting your side of the story. I found it very helpful.
Hmm, no mention that the part of their rules about this are in a section of the rules labeled “Long Term Campers, Lodge & Cabin Occupants”. And technically, they did not violate the rule, since they did not take delivery in the RV park.
The rule was violated when the camper used the RV park office address for the delivery. That’s when the violation took place. From what I can discern, FedEx attempted to deliver. It was rejected. Management told the camper. The camper then arranged to take delivery outside the park. Which he did. What happened next in the sequence of events? Explain that to me please.
How was the rule violated, when it applied only to long-term renters, as was stated plainly in the original post?
Neil, They know they were wrong and won’t answer your question. I would sue the crap out of them.
Also, the rules were technically not broken since the rules applied only to long-term campers, further advancing the fact that Mr. Epperson did not break the rule in the first place. From having read both sides of the story, I had to conclude that the park owner handled the situation poorly, and I wondered how the “rule” was broken when the package was delivered off the park property. Poor public relations on the part of the park owner; he should hire someone who has the ability to smooth over complaints, instead of inflaming them. Bad for business.
Being a small business owner myself, owning rental property where we have established rules and a lease our tenants abide by, I would strongly suggest consulting with legal counsel about your rules and the consequences that are apparently meted out at the whim of your manager. For one, your excuse for not receiving packages and mail is bogus. Two, your liability risk here is scary.
I would say you should do a better job of how your rules are printed.
If you do not want deliveries sent to your place then state that. However if I read this rule as written I too would believe since they were not long term that it was ok. Or that the deliveries have to stop at the gate etc.
Sounds to me that you do not want to be the handlers of folks mail and I can understand that.
Hopefully you take time to review your rules and consult with legal advice in proper handling of them.
You will never get my money! I always look at reviews before booking anything and your review level is the lowest of all. I hope that you folks go under as well.
It looks like a really crappy campground anyway, like a parking lot in an open field, no shade…They are lucky anyone wants to stay there
Sounds like they have an “IN” at the Sheriffs office. Who are they related to there. Billy Bob bubba a cousin? Pretty nice to have the Sheriffs office as your personal security detail, on call 24/7. How much does it cost the tax payers every time someone gets evicted? I wonder if the city counsel knows about this personal service the town is paying for? Things that make you go Hummmmmm!!!
FYI, Tom and Kay Vale are not the owners, they are not Coloradans, they are from Oklahoma. Bill Barber (along with a few investors) is (are) the owner, he also owns a parking lot near the Denver, CO airport.
I just hope these reviews are far reaching other RV’s. Tom Vail is a bomb ready to go off, the man is known not only to carry a concealed weapon he is known to have an arsenal of weapons. The Sheriff needs to investigate him!! Is Colorado a ‘red flag’ State?
If he has a concealed carry permit, he is legally allowed to carry a concealed firearm. i don’t see what this has to do with the topic at hand. It sounds as if you want to pillory Tom Vail merely because he owns an “arsenal of weapons.” How do you even know this, and what does it have to do with the discussion? Sounds as if you are merely assuming that they have no business being employed because they came from another state. Wow! Talk about tolerance!
As full-timers, we started using the Amazon boxes for deliveries. It was much easier for everything, except medications. Of course, that only works when you order from Amazon. Our online, mail only pharmacy, sends via USPS. A problem, if you need a new or old medication quickly. They have sent, via Fed Ex or UPS, to the USPS, which will not accept packages from Fed Ex or UPS. We have never been able to get them to understand this….
I RV’d full time for several months and most parks did not allow you to have packages delivered. There was one in virginia where the UPS driver pulled right up to our site and gave me the package, but that was the exception. I would always ask first, but most managers would tell me explicitly getting mail was not allowed. After a while I didnt even ask anymore and if I needed something delivered I’d just have it sent “general delivery” to the post office in the town i was staying at. I can’t ever remember staying somewhere further than a few miles from a post office, so it really wasn’t that inconvenient. I figured that’s how most full timers got there mail since parks that will accept other people’s mail seemed to be so few.
I’ve never had an issue with parks not accepting packages, a few have said you can’t get letters but packages are ok. I even had a mailbox at one park.
Lol@ the campground peeps making sock puppet accounts to defend themselves.
Agree. There is more to this story. When a park has rules, you either obey them all or you don’t and don’t be surprised if you are kicked out. I appreciate parks that enforce their rules. You don’t get to pick and choose which rules you wish to obey.
I would sue the hell out of them
Because you blindly follow one side of the story… read the above rebuttal by the campground lmao
YES, becasue they did not follow their own rules whick applied to long-term campers only!! Reading is fundamental Moose and Patrick.
I am awaiting the RV park doing just that. They should sue all who those who have trashed their business, having never stayed there.
They will lose for sure becasue the truth is factual in this case.
They should seek legal advice. One cannot retard the passage of mail, even if you own the property…..“Obstruction of mails generally. Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.” 18 US Code 1701(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat)
This is not “mail” by definition. It is a private carrier, not covered by US postal codes. Goofy as this seems, I don’t think there is anything to be done about this.
I don’t think this applies in this case. In addition to the other commenter (correctly) saying that it’s a private delivery company and not the mail, you’re not entitled to receive mail at any private address just because you’re presently there. The RV park owners prohibiting campers from receiving packages on their own property is not actually retarding the passage of mail (even if it was USPS), they’re just rejecting the delivery.