By Dave Helgeson
There’s much debate about staying in full-service campgrounds versus no-cost locations like Walmart, Flying J, etc. Often, RVers en route to a final destination just want a safe place to stay for the night and don’t want to pay for services they won’t use.
Many RVers come off the road late in the day, and with early checkout times don’t have the opportunity to use all of the amenities provided. Others think checkouts should be later in the day, giving them more time to use the services offered.
My wife and I have found a happy medium. When we require a campground’s full services, we boondock near the desired campground the night before, then arrive early to take full advantage of their amenities. Checkout times are rarely negotiable, or there is an extra fee to stay past the posted checkout time, but no park owner is going to turn away a paying customer at 10 in the morning if they have space available.
By arriving early, my wife and I have plenty of time to do laundry, fully charge our batteries, catch up on email, pay bills and do other online activities. It also gives us time to take advantage of the recreational facilities like a pool, tennis court, etc. Then, when we check out the following day, just prior to the checkout, we handle dumping the tanks, filling the potable water, getting online once more, etc. This allows us to truly receive our money’s worth of services.