How a caring RV park owner acts in hard times

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If you have read RV park owner Andy Zipser’s essay posted April 3, then you know the state of Virginia has banned him, and other private RV parks, from renting a site to RVers staying less than two weeks.

Here is what Andy has now posted on his late arrival board at Walnut Hills RV Park, Staunton, Virginia. Other RV park owners in a similar situation, please take note.

Andy wrote:

WELCOME, WEARY TRAVELER

Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, it means you’ve arrived after hours in the middle of the COVID19 pandemic—a time when we are barred, by state executive order, from accepting any reservations of less than 14 nights. At the same time, we recognize that you’ve been driving all day, that you’re tired and that you need a place to spend the night.

So be our unpaid guest. The front of the campground, which you passed on your way down the driveway, is completely unreserved. The sites are long pull-thrus with water, cable and 30/50-amp pedestals. Pick whatever site you want and spend the night, and either head out in the morning or visit us in the office after 9 a.m. if you want to discuss longer-term options.

To get there from here, make a left as you pass the office and then keep making right-turns until you’re heading back up the driveway. When you get to the front section, keep to the left going around the loop so you can pull into a site with the utilities on the correct (driver’s) side of your RV.

That’s it. Throw a few bucks into the lock box on the right if you’d like, but don’t feel compelled to do so. These are hard times for all of us, and we know you wouldn’t be on the road if you had a choice, so the least we can do is provide you with something a little more suitable than a Wal-Mart parking lot.

GOOD LUCK. SAFE TRAVELS

##RVT942

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Waldo
6 months ago

Is this the Walnut Hills KOA?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
6 months ago
Reply to  Waldo

Hi, Waldo. It used to be with KOA. Here’s an article from Chuck Woodbury and Andy Zipser about it: https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-park-drops-koa-affiliation-owner-explains/Diane at RVtravel.com

Pat Jennette
6 months ago

Kudos to Andy and Walnut Hills RV Park. As one who operates a business providing print, digital and social media marketing to RV parks, I highly commend Andy for taking the best PR approach during these times: People Relationships. Well done!

Bob Weinfurt
6 months ago

BRAVO I can’t think of anything else to add .

Ken
6 months ago

Dave…..
The story starts at the top identifying the park owner in paragraph one.
Paragraph two shows it’s Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park.

Andy’s writing is what you would see IF you arrive there.
Hope that helps Dave.

Dave Johnson
6 months ago

This sounds wonderful if the story is true. But nowhere in the post and in any of the responses is there a mention of the name of the park or where it is located, other than Virginia.

alcomechanic
6 months ago
Reply to  Dave Johnson

Here’s the website for the park. It has the contact information on it .
This was in an other article that was reference to this one. https://www.walnuthillscampground.com/

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
6 months ago
Reply to  alcomechanic

Thanks, alcomechanic, and good point, Dave. It was mentioned in the original post but not in this particular one, so I’ve added it. Y’all stay healthy. (I’m pretending I’m from the South — but have lived in the Seattle area for 73+ years. 😉 ) 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Pennie Hahn
6 months ago
Reply to  Dave Johnson

Hi, Dave: If you had clicked through from the original newsletter, you would have seen the following:

“Andy Zipser, owner of the beautiful Walnut Hills RV Park in Staunton, Virginia”

“If you have read RV park owner Andy Zipser’s essay posted April 3, then you know the state of Virginia has banned him, and other private RV parks, from renting a site to RVers staying less than two weeks. Here is what Andy has now posted on his late arrival board. Other RV park owners in a similar situation, please take note.”

Kate T
6 months ago
Reply to  Dave Johnson

The introduction to the article says ” If you have read RV park owner Andy Zipser’s essay posted April 3, then you know the state of Virginia has banned him, and other private RV parks, from renting a site to RVers staying less than two weeks.

Here is what Andy has now posted on his late arrival board at Walnut Hills RV Park, Staunton, Virginia. Other RV park owners in a similar situation, please take note.” Name of owner, park and city/state

Ted Denman
6 months ago

I stayed at two CG’s, coming home from FL last week, and never saw any CG staff. We took care of business over the phone. Directions to our campsite were in my envelope pinned to the late arrival board. No problem. Prices were reasonable. Camp host met us at check in area and led us to our second CG site.

Lisa
6 months ago

Great owner who cares. Good job.

Dori
6 months ago

Way to go!

Mike Newdow
6 months ago

As an RV park owner who is very concerned about the infringement of constitutional liberties of those RVers who are now being treated as undesirable refugees [see http://woodallscm.com/california-authorities-search-park-for-transient-rvers/ and https://www.rvtravel.com/is-coronavirus-leading-to-a-constitutional-crisis/ ], I, too, have offered a free place to stay for those caught in the web of the COVID-19 restrictions. But the issue is a very difficult one, and – speaking as an ER physician – I’m not sure if Andy’s (and my own) actions are proper. Of course, we all want to protect the rights of RVers and help those who are caught in that ever-growing web. On the other hand, COVID-19 is a very real threat. We don’t yet have a good understanding of all of its characteristics, but it is clear that this virus spreads very quickly. If there is some small chance that allowing an out-of-county RV to stay within that county will result in hundreds of very sick people plus a few deaths, I’m unconvinced that the “helpful” actions are all that heroic. It is this dilemma that has piqued my interest in possibly filing a lawsuit challenging the restrictions. (For the cynics who think this is a way for attorneys to make money, I’ll just note that I have never taken a nickel in fees for the many thousands of hours of legal work I have engaged in over the past twenty years.) If there are any of you who feel you have had your rights violated and are interested in being plaintiffs in such a lawsuit, please contact me at NiceRVPark@gmail.com. Thanks.

Andy Zipser
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Newdow

Hi, Mike. Thanks for the comments, and for the things you had to say in the Woodall’s piece. I have two main problems with the way all this is unspooling: number one, the disparate treatment of different kinds of accommodations. Number two, the failure by policy makers to take into account the travelers who are on the road and needing a place to spend the night. If there were a blanket ban on all travel and all transient accommodations I wouldn’t be happy, but at least that would be consistent and defensible from a public health perspective. Instead, what we have right now is an arbitrary and capricious patchwork of half-baked prescriptions that don’t accomplish their stated purpose while causing severe economic harm to some and not to others. There’s your lawsuit. . . .

Karen
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Newdow

A doctor, lawyer, and RV park owner? Trifecta..

Bob b
6 months ago

Thanks. Not traveling now but will b sure to use ur camp when things recover. Bless u. B

travilenman
6 months ago

Andy Zipser YOU are a very kind & caring person…Thank You for doing this for us RV’ers…. I have never been to Virginia, but if I ever do I WILL STAY at your park…..

Specie
6 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! from a grateful fulltime RVer. We are all in this together.

Wolfe
6 months ago

I think many people know this but not all: power for a large rig can easily cost the campground $10/night, so if you stop by this guy make SURE you leave at least that; preferably his normal rate plus a little extra for those who forget he’s incurring extra expense when you stay.

I’m on the east coast, so any time I’m swinging south, you’ll be on my stoplist, Andy…

Mike Sherman
6 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Excellent comment Wolfe, I was about to make a comment….suggesting folks leave more than $10….you were prepared to pay the normal rate when you pulled in, so don’t shortchange Andy’ generosity.

Thomas
6 months ago

A couple of bucks in the lockbox? I’d throw in the whole amount owed. If you were prepared to pay it anyway,do it now. No name,no registrars filled out, no record of any transaction.NO tax paid to the government.

Steve Perkinson
6 months ago

If I read the edict correctly, the ban is on reservations, it doesn’t say anything about first come, first served.

Sink Jaxon
6 months ago

You are a good man Andy, and good fortune is coming your way…

Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

X a bunch I hope. Great job Andy! God Bless You!

Alvin
6 months ago

Hopefully, when this is over, there will be a shortage of another kind – medals to pin on these caring RV Park owners willing to help others through this. The chances of Geri and I landing in Virginia from Lethbridge Alberta is remote but if we ever do – Andy prepare yourself for one big long handshake – yup a good old fashioned handshake, to show our appreciation for what you’re doing for those who need your compassion.

Diane
6 months ago

GOD BLESS ANDY ZIPSER!! What a kind and caring thing to do.

Robyn Gleim
6 months ago

Way to go ….a caring human being! I know for sure that if we were a benefactor of your thoughtfulness, we would place your regular campsite fee (or more) into your lockbox. These awful times are showing us the best side of many people, like you.

Gil Coale
6 months ago

Good for you Andy. I question the thinking behind some of the mandates our elected officials are throwing at us. Sounds like you have found a compassionate way around this particular one.