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-   -   Are we Spoiled? Or Am I a campground Snob? (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f2/are-we-spoiled-or-am-i-a-campground-snob-212034.html)

ryand 07-21-2020 11:34 AM

Are we Spoiled? Or Am I a campground Snob?
 
Its been awhile since I last posted here so forgive me for injecting this topic for my return back but it's currently the situation we have found ourselves in and I wont name any campground names but will give generalized locations....This is only a vent session!!!!
First off, we are from the St. Louis area and there are many, many State and COE options within a 2-5 hour radius from home that we spend time at. We normally take one big trip a year consisting of multiple weeks while the kids have time off in the summer. This year we elected to head north into Door County WI, Then into the UP of Michigan and then down near Torch Lake in Michigan and Traverse City. Even on the big trips we try and stay with federal and corps/state parks when we can. We are on the final leg of our trip and staying at a private campground and yet again have found ourselves disappointed with the facility, sites and the cost. The online reviews of this place are glowing....95% positive but yet we all feel underwhelmed based on what we are used to. Its hard to stomach hotel room prices (Before covid, Hotel travel was my work life)per night to be 10' from my neighbor, dirt and sand/mud sites, laundry rooms that smell like sewage and so on. There are so many people here that makes me think we are the minority. I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. I have constantly been disappointed with private campgrounds that over promise and under deliver. With that said, we are having a great time and have gotten to do some neat and different things on this trip. I would highly recommend Michigan's UP its a wild unlike anything we have experienced.

007matman 07-21-2020 11:53 AM

We just got home from a 3 week trip up through Nebraska, SoDak, Iowa, and Missouri. I feel what you're saying, sites are expensive and hard to find.right now. Most private parks we found were above $40 and unpaid $80 per night a couple of times (that's with the KOA discount).

I never had a place that was horrible but I also wasn't expecting paved pads or even to use the facilities much.

latner 07-21-2020 11:53 AM

I don't think you're spoiled or a snob, you like what you like. For us, the more rustic and less amenities the better. To each their own. :)

Beachbourbon 07-21-2020 11:59 AM

Wow
 
I donít see anything wrong with liking a standard that you have become accustomed to and trying to duplicate it.

On the other hand, taking a family vacation in the midst of CoVID-19 quarantining and then finding something to complain about is the epitome of First world problems/entitlement/tone deaf/etc...IMHO

This is not to say I wouldnít be inclined to complain if this happened to me in the non-Covid-19 era

hack522 07-21-2020 11:59 AM

Ditto on rustic here. We go to state facilities more often and only one trip to a private place. We use our TT for everything, but do not see the conditions you experienced. Could be those places no longer have the staff to properly maintain everything.

ryand 07-21-2020 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beachbourbon (Post 2372490)
I donít see anything wrong with liking a standard that you have become accustomed to and trying to duplicate it.



On the other hand, taking a family vacation in the midst of CoVID-19 quarantining and then finding something to complain about is the epitome of First world problems/entitlement/tone deaf/etc...IMHO



This is not to say I wouldnít be inclined to complain if this happened to me in the non-Covid-19 era



Thanks for your input....not stepping into this pile with you because what you read and what I typed are two different things. Please get off your ivory tower and consider the fact you do not know anything about my family, what we have done for this pandemic and what we have sacrificed for the betterment of society. Iím with you by the way...my wife is in healthcare and we are very in-tune with this situation. Good luck and wash your hands. However, I suppose I have invited this on myself....

NavyLCDR 07-21-2020 12:29 PM

I think there is kind of a curve here. I get to stay at Oregon State Parks for free due to being a disabled veteran. The only disappointment I have had at a state park is that some tend to be less like camping and more like staying in a city park. But the facilities have always been clean.

The absolute worse campground I stayed in was Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park. I think I paid like $25 (discounted from $31), but they only did single night reservations! Every day you had to go back and stand in line again for that day. There was nothing good about that place. We stayed one night, and moved to a USFS campground down the mountain and was 100% happy there.

We stayed at a hot springs RV resort. It was $35 for standard or $40 for full hookup. While the facilities were clean, again, it was like parking in a city park - but that's just what RV Resorts really are - just glorified RV parking lots.

Anyway, in regards to the curve - I think the more you pay for something, the more disappointed you are going to be up to the point where you cross the line into paying for true luxury and "elitism". I am most happiest boondocking for free or $8 reservation fee only Oregon State Parks. Then it seems like the more I pay, the less I actually get in regards to the camping experience.

Iwannacamp 07-21-2020 12:38 PM

We stayed a few nights at Catherine's Landing in Hot Springs AR. Very clean on nice park on an ??oxbow of the lake/river. It was very nice and the people were nice, but it was expensive. Memory tells me it was ?? 125 a night for water front camping, but it was mostly a parking lot with grass around it. DW loved it. WIFI was OK, bathhouse was nice and pool was OK. They were adding to it while were there... I am guessing they stay busy... just not really a place I would pick.

boydn1 07-21-2020 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iwannacamp (Post 2372529)
We stayed a few nights at Catherine's Landing in Hot Springs AR. Very clean on nice park on an ??oxbow of the lake/river. It was very nice and the people were nice, but it was expensive. Memory tells me it was ?? 125 a night for water front camping, but it was mostly a parking lot with grass around it. DW loved it. WIFI was OK, bathhouse was nice and pool was OK. They were adding to it while were there... I am guessing they stay busy... just not really a place I would pick.

We'll be at the Wal_Mart parking lot before I pay $100 for an RV spot.

TitanMike 07-21-2020 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NavyLCDR (Post 2372522)
I think there is kind of a curve here. I get to stay at Oregon State Parks for free due to being a disabled veteran. The only disappointment I have had at a state park is that some tend to be less like camping and more like staying in a city park. But the facilities have always been clean.

The absolute worse campground I stayed in was Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park. I think I paid like $25 (discounted from $31), but they only did single night reservations! Every day you had to go back and stand in line again for that day. There was nothing good about that place. We stayed one night, and moved to a USFS campground down the mountain and was 100% happy there.

We stayed at a hot springs RV resort. It was $35 for standard or $40 for full hookup. While the facilities were clean, again, it was like parking in a city park - but that's just what RV Resorts really are - just glorified RV parking lots.

Anyway, in regards to the curve - I think the more you pay for something, the more disappointed you are going to be up to the point where you cross the line into paying for true luxury and "elitism". I am most happiest boondocking for free or $8 reservation fee only Oregon State Parks. Then it seems like the more I pay, the less I actually get in regards to the camping experience.

I'm with you. Happiest when boondocking for free or in a Forest Service campground enjoying my 50% Lifetime Senior discount.

I had enough of hotels while working. Thats why i bought my current TT and outfitted it to not rely on amenities.

To each their own however.

Reverse_snowbird 07-21-2020 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ryand (Post 2372462)
I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. .

It's always good to vent and we hear your pain.
However, that perfect site is going to be very expensive at an rv resort and hard to find at public campgrounds. The closest we've come is at COE campgrounds, but they usually only have W/E.
With all the new rvers on the road, campgrounds have definitely been challenged this year.
Glad you made it home and had a great time.

whj469 07-21-2020 03:13 PM

Haven't seen that with prices like that in many years. Yes you are asking to much.

travlinon 07-21-2020 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ryand (Post 2372462)
Its been awhile since I last posted here so forgive me for injecting this topic for my return back but it's currently the situation we have found ourselves in and I wont name any campground names but will give generalized locations....This is only a vent session!!!!
First off, we are from the St. Louis area and there are many, many State and COE options within a 2-5 hour radius from home that we spend time at. We normally take one big trip a year consisting of multiple weeks while the kids have time off in the summer. This year we elected to head north into Door County WI, Then into the UP of Michigan and then down near Torch Lake in Michigan and Traverse City. Even on the big trips we try and stay with federal and corps/state parks when we can. We are on the final leg of our trip and staying at a private campground and yet again have found ourselves disappointed with the facility, sites and the cost. The online reviews of this place are glowing....95% positive but yet we all feel underwhelmed based on what we are used to. Its hard to stomach hotel room prices (Before covid, Hotel travel was my work life)per night to be 10' from my neighbor, dirt and sand/mud sites, laundry rooms that smell like sewage and so on. There are so many people here that makes me think we are the minority. I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. I have constantly been disappointed with private campgrounds that over promise and under deliver. With that said, we are having a great time and have gotten to do some neat and different things on this trip. I would highly recommend Michigan's UP its a wild unlike anything we have experienced.

I take it you have never stayed at Fort Wilderness in Disney World, I booked a few days there so granddaughter could ride the ponies. It was in April, $200 bucks a night. Wife told me after one night staying at Walmart if we couldnít afford a campground we would stay home. Wife does not like to dry camp and I donít really. Now that Iím not 25 any more I like full hookups. I see great campgrounds and some not so great. Iím staying at Shipshewana flea market next month, itís a great campground.

boondocking 07-21-2020 06:42 PM

At Fort Wilderness does a maid come in and make your the beds and cleanup the trailer each day? If not I would complain to the management.

travlinon 07-21-2020 07:00 PM

Iím afraid not on the maid. I talked to a person camping beside us and he was staying for a month, no discounts. Granddaughter likes Chip n Dale and riding the ponies and riding a golf cart. I love granddaughter

Mike134 07-21-2020 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ryand (Post 2372462)
I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night.


Sounds like a 5 star plus location, I'd expect to pay a 5 star price. That view from a cabin in Colorado costs $$$$$. I wouldn't expect different camping at a private campground, after all he paid for the view when he bought it to rent out

boondocking 07-21-2020 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travlinon (Post 2372866)
Iím afraid not on the maid. I talked to a person camping beside us and he was staying for a month, no discounts. Granddaughter likes Chip n Dale and riding the ponies and riding a golf cart. I love granddaughter

Grandkids are precious and no expense spared when it comes to treating them.

504patrick 07-21-2020 07:35 PM

I don't think you're spoiled, but like me, you may remember what the price used to be and with the increase in the popularity of camping, inflation, etc, your brain still hasn't accepted the new rates. I'm a craft beer fan and it's still in my brain that a 6 pack should be $5.99, maybe $6.99 if it's fancy. Not an average 6 is $9.99, if not more. And fancy beers come 4 x 16oz at an even higher price point.

Something that may help reset your pricing expectation is to check the cost of hotel rooms.

All that said, the biggest shocker to me is how much more I enjoy state parks that typically cost $25-35 more than the bigger private parks that are $50-60 or more. I don't really need a lazy river at my RV; I want trees, space, maybe a lake and a fire pit.

travlinon 07-21-2020 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boondocking (Post 2372882)
Grandkids are precious and no expense spared when it comes to treating them.

You are so right, she is actually my great granddaughter, first girl in the family. Her birthday was July 17 and I had promised her a puppy, I looked for 2 months, no puppy. I finally put a down payment on a puppy thatís not born yet, hopefully Iíll show her a picture of the puppy in September. There is a really nice campground out from Pigeon Forge TN called Anchor Downs, it is nice and pricey but it stays full.

walaby 07-21-2020 08:22 PM

I think you're asking too much for all that at a price less than $30. Some exist here and there, but likely not in the areas where people like to vacation.


I have experienced what you describe, at a COE park, but it was middle of Louisiana and certainly not a tourist stop. Beautiful lake front spot, Electric and water (not full hookup, but dump station), huge spots, lots of room between, concrete patio, crushed gravel spot, super level, beautiful view. Less than $30.


I think one of the best deals out there are the COE parks. But, on average what you're looking for is not easy to find.


Mike

Igave 07-21-2020 08:47 PM

I think changes are happening and we’re far from seeing the end to changes in price/numbers of folks/rvs and availability. Like it or not the wild spots we have to ourselves scenario is fast ending. I know I can’t change things so I’ll either adapt or stay home. Don’t necessarily like it, but it is what it is.

Ditch_doc 07-21-2020 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walaby (Post 2372927)
I think you're asking too much for all that at a price less than $30. Some exist here and there, but likely not in the areas where people like to vacation.


I have experienced what you describe, at a COE park, but it was middle of Louisiana and certainly not a tourist stop. Beautiful lake front spot, Electric and water (not full hookup, but dump station), huge spots, lots of room between, concrete patio, crushed gravel spot, super level, beautiful view. Less than $30.


I think one of the best deals out there are the COE parks. But, on average what you're looking for is not easy to find.


Mike



This reminds me of Twin lakes on lake hartwell. We were just there a couple of weeks ago. Awesome spot. You are probably close...I would check it out.

dalford 07-22-2020 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Igave (Post 2372948)
I think changes are happening and weíre far from seeing the end to changes in price/numbers of folks/rvs and availability. Like it or not the wild spots we have to ourselves scenario is fast ending. I know I canít change things so Iíll either adapt or stay home. Donít necessarily like it, but it is what it is.

Times, they are a changin... RV parks can set their price due to supply and demand. The RV business is booming.

My BIL and his DW buy and sell RVs on eBay. They have relationships with several large RV dealers in Florida. He told me today that two things are going on. First, there are few trades. First time buyers, no trade. Second, when there is a trade the amount they have to bid is very high and sometimes higher than book retail.

He went to LaMesa RV in Port St. John today. He said they only had 51 new units on the lot when they normally have 200+.

Just need to plan ahead but prices are definitely on the rise...

SailorSam20500 07-22-2020 01:04 AM

I'll agree with the OP. Between private and COE parks, more often than not, the COEs are the nicer choice. Even better for me, I have a senior lifetime America the Beautiful pass and get half off at the COEs. Granted that I wish more of the COEs had water or FHU, but then again a huge, gorgeous lakefront site for $15 per night?

RockDodger 07-22-2020 06:32 AM

Never fear folks, the gems are out there. We just came back from a week at Indian Lake State Park in Lakeveiw, OH. For $26 a night I got a 50' concrete slab, sewer, water, and 50 amp service, under a big shade tree, and a wonderful view of the lake (right in front of me). I was sure that for that price I would be in the weeds or a mudhole, so needless to say I was surprised. Of course, the office and the facilities were closed due to Covid, but there were park workers and rangers patrolling. I was impressed to say the least. I will go back there again.:campfire::D

D W 07-22-2020 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whj469 (Post 2372699)
Haven't seen that with prices like that in many years. Yes you are asking to much.

X2. Those $30 sites probably existed 35 years ago, but not today. If you were to find a CG with those amenities at that price in this day and age it would most likely be booked solid for the next 5 years with hundreds on a waiting list waiting for cancellations!

TheWolfPaq82 07-22-2020 07:22 AM

If what I saw last week...Thurs or Fri on the world news, the RV industry has already seen an 130% increase this year. CG's are watching this and know they can charge whatever they want and people will pay. New CG opened this summer at a State Rec area this summer. Early spring it was advertised at $25/night full hookup. It opened the end of June due to covid and at a cost of $45/night. CG's been FULL everyday.

ryand 07-22-2020 08:42 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I know my ďwantsĒ are not realistic....But I do think that mid missouri and Illinois offers fantastic values at COE and some state parks that check all the boxes and have us spoiled to a large degree.....and for less than 30 per night. Again,just a vent....but as an example to clarify my rant the photo comparison below: top site is 28 per night includes a massive paved site, full hookup, zero gravel and water front and the bottom is over 70 per night and billed as extremely spacious, secluded and ďdeluxeĒ with patio.Attachment 234494

mikel68 07-22-2020 08:55 AM

You had me until under $30.00. You get what you pay for. It's not cheap to keep up everything you ask for. You basically said it in your post. It is up to the park owner to keep things, "fixed" or working, but it's also up to the bone head that wipes and leaves toilet paper on the floor, trashes common areas, or walks through your site. It's not cheap dealing with human beings. You may have to ante up. Some of our favorites are just what you mention, but run $60-$100 a night. There are some state parks and COE parks that are cheaper, but I'm not really a "camper" per se. I do occasionally enjoy dirt, weeds, and loads of people crowding state parks on the weekends, but not often. Those exclusive, concrete, by the lake, distanced from neighbor parks usually aren't cheap and in Texas require months long reservations.

:trink39:

Homebrew 07-22-2020 10:19 AM

Finding water front full hookups is hard. Iíve never found a full hook up next to a lake or steam. Most water front sites are W/E only.
I think itís a DEP issue / guidelines that prevent full hookups next to waterways.

hobienick 07-22-2020 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ryand (Post 2373138)
I know my ďwantsĒ are not realistic....But I do think that mid missouri and Illinois offers fantastic values at COE and some state parks that check all the boxes and have us spoiled to a large degree.....and for less than 30 per night. Again,just a vent....but as an example to clarify my rant the photo comparison below: top site is 28 per night includes a massive paved site, full hookup, zero gravel and water front and the bottom is over 70 per night and billed as extremely spacious, secluded and ďdeluxeĒ with patio.Attachment 234494

Having recently moved to Columbus, OH from the STL area I do miss the MO State Parks. OH has several very nice parks too, but MO parks are a better value. Especially when you get into the Ozarks. From what I have seen outside of MO we were spoiled on price there.

TitanMike 07-22-2020 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 (Post 2373086)
If what I saw last week...Thurs or Fri on the world news, the RV industry has already seen an 130% increase this year. CG's are watching this and know they can charge whatever they want and people will pay. New CG opened this summer at a State Rec area this summer. Early spring it was advertised at $25/night full hookup. It opened the end of June due to covid and at a cost of $45/night. CG's been FULL everyday.

Can't speak specifically about this or other campgrounds but I do have knowledge of what Covid has done to business expenses.

My Son has his own business and has been handed a huge list of actions he has to take in order to stay open (he's been open all along as an essential service business). It covers everything from his office and work space as well as what his employees have to do as they interact with customers.

All these rules and regulations add time and expense to the cost of operation. I would imagine that campgrounds have similar new rules/regs and may have to add extra employees just to sanitize many things before the next camper can check in.

It's also possible that the increased rate was due to a delayed opening and the fact that bank loan interest just kept adding up.

It's been over 17 years since I last stayed in a hotel of any kind, roadside or resort. I'll bet they cost a lot more today than the last time I stayed in one. Why would it be different in campgrounds with more than a dirt pad and campfire ring? The more that's added, the more it will cost.

CaptnJohn 07-22-2020 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ryand (Post 2372503)
Thanks for your input....not stepping into this pile with you because what you read and what I typed are two different things. Please get off your ivory tower and consider the fact you do not know anything about my family, what we have done for this pandemic and what we have sacrificed for the betterment of society. Iím with you by the way...my wife is in healthcare and we are very in-tune with this situation. Good luck and wash your hands. However, I suppose I have invited this on myself....

Glad you made the trip! Some people are not happy unless they make others as miserable as they are!
We never go during summer peak season with kids out of school. Come September we will be mostly on the road again until June. It helps that we live at the beach. I've not been in any KOA that was not overpriced, last resort~ I've stayed in two for 1 night each in the last 28 years. I have a list of great CGs under $32 a night and around $475 monthly. The resort we spend winter in is $1990 monthly plus electric on the 3 month rate so just over $6K but worth it.

KNMIB 07-22-2020 04:31 PM

We are pretty simple people we like the high end RV parks all the way to remote facilities. We love them all, the baths and showers we never see thats why we have or own. I like a level spot grass, rock, concrete it really doesnt matter to us. We crawled out of a tornado house with nothing left so we dont get to hung up on stuff. We feel blessed but with that said we all like different things. Safe and happy travels to all.

Comanchecreek 07-22-2020 05:26 PM

Most regular "non" hookup sites in Colorado run $24 to $35 bucks. Electric ads another $10 bucks, and full hookups run $45 and up. Yet you can use forest service "dispersed" camping for free, but there's no water or dump.
That's Colorado. You also have to buy a per day park pass, or annual pass if you camp enough in the state to justify it. That can run $70-80 bucks a year.
On top of that, if you choose a Forest Service area campground you will have to buy their daily or annual pass also. (I 'm not sure how much that one is these days as haven't stayed in any FS campgrounds the last few years). I've had some very negative experiences with the private contractors that run many of those (Forest Service) facilities these days.

Don't confuse "dispersed" camping with Forest service campgrounds. Different situation.
Camping ain't cheap! :signhavefun:

Iwannacamp 07-22-2020 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RockDodger (Post 2373062)
Never fear folks, the gems are out there. We just came back from a week at Indian Lake State Park in Lakeveiw, OH. For $26 a night I got a 50' concrete slab, sewer, water, and 50 amp service, under a big shade tree, and a wonderful view of the lake (right in front of me). I was sure that for that price I would be in the weeds or a mudhole, so needless to say I was surprised. Of course, the office and the facilities were closed due to Covid, but there were park workers and rangers patrolling. I was impressed to say the least. I will go back there again.:campfire::D



Lol. I stayed there one time at the end of October....it was payable by the honor system. It was funny to me.

Sbosserman 07-22-2020 07:24 PM

Use of Acronyms and abbreviations ☹️
 
Iíve been an River since 1989 and Iíve been a member of this forum now for several years now, but there isnít a day that goes by when Iím reading this forum that somebody isnít using acronyms that Iíve never heard of. Ya know, you canít just Google ďCOEĒ or FHUĒ to find out what the heck you guys are talk into about. If so many participants are going to be using acronyms That are so unique, it might be best if there was an acronym guide on the forum where these were defined! Just sayiní

Mike134 07-22-2020 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sbosserman (Post 2373626)
Iíve been an River since 1989 and Iíve been a member of this forum now for several years now, but there isnít a day that goes by when Iím reading this forum that somebody isnít using acronyms that Iíve never heard of. Ya know, you canít just Google ďCOEĒ or FHUĒ to find out what the heck you guys are talk into about. If so many participants are going to be using acronyms That are so unique, it might be best if there was an acronym guide on the forum where these were defined! Just sayiní


I was thinking the same thing thanks for saying it. :trink39:

BigRockr 07-23-2020 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike134 (Post 2373711)
I was thinking the same thing thanks for saying it. :trink39:


https://www.ourcrazyadventurouslife.com/single-post/2015/09/02/COMMON-RV-ABBREVIATIONS-AND-ACRONYMS


Googled "rv acronyms"

mtnlvr 07-23-2020 02:36 AM

I would prefer to camp in nature and with more privacy than a pricy, narrow patch of asphalt with hookups and my Dish satellite TV. BUT, camping based on the weather conditions is a top priority for me. Boondocking is great if the weather is mild. Having electricity instead of running a noisy generator if it is very hot and running the a/c all day, or on very cold winter nights where I want to plug in my small heater( preferred over running the furnace.) I Boondocked last week at a picturesque lake and it was miserably hot, close to 100 degrees. I had to use my 12v fan & other built in fans all day, intermittently with running the generator. I was asking myself why I didnít just stay home with my a/c and pool after I waited for 27 hrs. to get my flat tire fixed at my remote campground.


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