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Old 07-16-2018, 10:59 AM   #21
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Good plan.

If you make reservations, Ask about the policy if it is not explained.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:14 PM   #22
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I always call beforehand to see what the policy is, if they say absolutely no early check in we'll adjust our plans.

In the past two years I've always been told if the site is open feel free to arrive early.

This past weekend we stayed at a state park and the attendant said that check in is at 2:00 PM, so wait until around Noon to arrive and we should be good....we did...and we were.

So as far a disrespectful, the person running the campground suggested that we arrive two hours early, should I have argued that it would be disrespectful to do what he suggested?

And I'm usually the one cleaning up after the previous campers on our sites, so I can tell you for sure that not every campground preps the site between check out and check in.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:13 PM   #23
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Happy campers!

We encountered one RV park on our trip east last May that charged an "early check in" fee. We were early and tired from travel so I paid without complaint.
A few years ago we were early for a campground in Sedona AZ that made us pull into an overflow parking area till the check in time... Didn't make that mistake the next time we traveled there... They also spent a lot of time at check in telling us the restrictions for the campground...
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #24
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We have encountered the early checkin issue at only one park in some 45+ years of camping. It was a park near Santa Cruz, CA. The park was down a long narrow country road and there was no place to park a rig at the entrance. The staff at the CG could only be described as rude and inconsiderate. They wanted a full days fee for early check-in and said if we did not want to pay that we would have to leave until check-in time. There was no place to park, but it turns out we were not alone in arriving early so there was a long line of rigs waiting to check-in. The place was not full, not even close to full, they did not assign spots until you arrived so we couldn't understand the problem. Not sure we'll ever return, but most parks at which we stay have a fairly early check-in time, maybe noon or 1PM which works for us. We would have arranged our drive schedule to accommodate this place's rule if we had known the road in was so unaccommodating to RV's. Off the beaten track is nice once you get there, but can be frustrating getting there.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:54 PM   #25
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I actually asked a park ranger about their policy (note that this was a Florida State park), and she explained that they have a certain amount of leeway, so each park may be different.

It actually benefits them if they can let you in early, it reduces the log-jam at 3.

In that particular park, they will check you in ahead of time, IF :

* all the checkouts are complete (this is to avoid conflicts between in- and outgoing traffic, lines at the dump station holding up traffic, etc)

* all the cleaning, inspecting and maintenance is done, or can be completed with minimal disruption.

* all the admin and paperwork is done (Of course there's paperwork... these are state-run parks after all...)

*staff changeovers, lunch breaks, etc, can be completed (those hours between checkout and checkin are really their only down-time)

* ...and, perhaps most critically... If you're nice about it. I have stood in line, around 1pm, behind Mister Entitled, I'm-a-taxpayer-and-you're-a-servant-of-the-state, I-want-to-speak-to-your-supervisor-I'll-have-you-fired-for-this... who eventually left with a door-slam and a squeal of tyres. The ranger heaved a sigh and braced herself for "Next".. that was me, and I just told her I was letting her know we were here, to give her a headstart on the paperwork, and we'd be happy to drink coffee in the parking lot until 3. She had a quick look at the list, gave me a big grin and said "Oh, you can go ahead to your site... I just need to see your ID to be sure you really do qualify for the senior discount" What a nice lady.. :-)
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:51 PM   #26
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Sometimes common sense is not all that common!
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01tundra View Post
And I'm usually the one cleaning up after the previous campers on our sites, so I can tell you for sure that not every campground preps the site between check out and check in.
YEP, I seem to run into that as well! I grew up with my father making my sister and I "POLICE" the campsite and pick up anything and everything that should not be there.
I do that with my 3 kids now. Most of the time, we are leaving the campsite cleaner than we found it.

When we camp at PA State Parks, we will call them just before closing time and ask if anyone is on our site. If they say no, we usually arrive around 1000 AM and have never been turned away or told to wait.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:35 PM   #28
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We usually arrive on a Sunday and in Indiana the checkout time is 5pm. Most of the time we arrive around 2-3pm and if the site we rented has vacated we've had no problem getting in. I've never seen employees "clean" a site before the next camper arrives ever in any place I've ever camped. Maybe at some high end private parks but certainly not Indiana State parks. That would take an army of employees and certainly wouldn't cost effective.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:18 AM   #29
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Same here in Ohio State Park Camground. Got a new Campground Director and everything was by the book, way excessive in my opinion. 99.9% of campers are fantastic people. This new director irked a lot of regular campers the wrong way (including us). Needless to say after two seasons she’s gone and the office staff is back to be being super kind, and just plain enjoyable to deal with. Complaints were most likely filed and she got transferred.
It happens.
I think the majority of us regulars know the rules and understand their purpose, why they are there and what happens when they are abused, that’s why for the most part we pretty much take care of the park by our plain ole common sense.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:03 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TCNashville View Post
I've never seen employees "clean" a site before the next camper arrives ever in any place I've ever camped. Maybe at some high end private parks but certainly not Indiana State parks. That would take an army of employees and certainly wouldn't cost effective.
I'm rather surprised by that.. I think pretty much everywhere we've camped, there have been people out picking up, sweeping up, leaf-blowing and inspecting, as soon as the first sites vacate in the morning(Nothing like getting woken up by a leaf blower !)

This includes state parks, KOA and private CGs
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