By Nanci Dixon
In last week’s issue, I told you about the top 5 complaints campers voice at the RV park office. This week I thought it would only be fair to write about the top ten complaints RV parks have about campers. Now you’re in the hot seat! The office staff were a vocal group, hence 10 this time instead of 5! My husband and I are park hosts and deal with a lot of these issues, so I can verify that these points are all valid.
1. Loud parties and gatherings
This is the number one complaint of the campers to the office too. Some groups have no idea how loud they have become and quiet down immediately when asked. Others can get hostile, lower the sound a decibel or two when told and then resume immediately when the host or park official leaves.
2. Dog poop
Again, dogs can be a problem for campers and park staff. While campers complained more about barking dogs and dogs off-leash, dog poop is a problem for the park staff that needs to pick it up or has inadvertently stepped in it while taking care of a campsite, trail or walkway. Note to dog owners: Please pick up after your pooch.
3. Dogs off-leash
Looks like we’re seeing similar complaints, aren’t we? Dogs off-leash was a concern for the campers last week too. Campers can go to the office to let staff know, but it is the park staff that needs to approach the people to have them leash or tie up their sometimes very unfriendly, territorial dog. It’s not a fun task!
4. Non-burnable trash in the fire pit
Burning plastic? You can always tell by the acrid smoke and smell. The staff that clean out the fire pits and grills know that plastics do melt but seldom burn completely, that aluminum cans don’t melt, and that bottles don’t burn (and can even explode). And you’d think campers would know to not throw rocks in the fire pit… but that happens more often than you probably think.
5. Trash left on-site
The next complaint is the amount of garbage that is left on the site. There are dumpsters all over the park for garbage. The hard-working staff just wishes more people would use them!
6. Parking on the grass
Cars, trailers, trucks driving over grass leave deep ruts and kill the grass. Some parks have sprinkler equipment in their landscaping that is harmed when driven over. Even in the desert, where the hard-packed desert may look barren, fragile struggling plants or topsoil that took decades to build can be destroyed.
7. Not checking out on time
Overstaying the checkout time usually leaves two sets of campers upset. There are those that don’t read the checkout times and those that intentionally stay too long. Either way, slowly packing up while someone is waiting causes a domino effect of unhappy campers and staff waiting to clean the site. Please know your checkout time, and leave on time.
8. Setting up camp at the wrong site
Just like some campers don’t know the campground’s checkout time, some don’t know their own site number either. Setting up camp on the wrong site is a major hassle for the campers that already set up, and a hassle for those people that are actually assigned to that site. Most people are apologetic when they are on the wrong site and hasten to pack everything up and move.
9. Stealth camping
One of our jobs is to double-check that everyone in the park has a reservation, particularly now when campers are registering online and going directly to their site. As the weekend warriors clear out, more stealth campers come in late and leave early before the office opens.
10. Staying an extra day
Staying an extra day or two without paying is also a form of stealth camping. This usually involves campers that have paid and registered, then try and stay an extra day without paying or registering again. This happens more often as the weekenders leave and toward the end of the season. I am always very polite when I let them know that they are not on the park list and that I am just taking down their RV and car license number so the office can expect them when they go to pay in the morning…
Have any of you worked as park hosts or in the office? If so, what are some of your biggest complaints about campers?
If you missed it, be sure to read the top 5 complaints of other campers too, that we published last week.