Apparently some folks don’t understand my twisted sense of humor. So just to clear the air, no, I did not change my car’s horn to gunshots as I said in yesterday’s thought for the day. Four different people posted blog comments or sent me e-mails to say that was scary or dangerous and I might get shot or arrested. It was a joke, folks, I promise.
I’ve been hearing a lot from people complaining that they have decided to spend the winter in Florida or Arizona, and now they can’t get reservations at the places they want to go using Passport America or Thousand Trails, or at most RV parks.
Yes, folks, that’s the way it is. This is peak season, and if you snooze you lose. We have spent many, many winters in Florida, Arizona, and across the Sunbelt. Just like we have spent summers in popular places like the Oregon and Washington coast, and even one in New England. It can be done, but you have to plan ahead.
We don’t like making schedules and having to have reservations in place far ahead of time, but the reality is, there are only so many RV spaces available and a whole lot of people who want them. Somebody complaining to me about the lack of sites in Florida said that he understood that campgrounds like to have reservations ahead of time, but it was his feeling that they should leave maybe 25% of their sites open for drive-up customers.
Why? If you owned or managed a campground and you had guaranteed 100% occupancy, with reservations made and a deposit paid far in advance, why would you instead leave a fourth of your sites open because somebody might show up at the last minute? What if they don’t show up? That’s lost revenue, and no business can survive by losing money.
One of the complaints was about Passport America, whose members have access to over 1800 campgrounds nationwide, usually at half price. The person who wrote me said that he has not been able to find a Passport America campground on either the East or West coast of Florida that he can use during January and February. No, you probably won’t. Again, why would a campground do that? The reason they join discount camping clubs is to fill empty sites during their slow periods. If it’s June and a good number of your sites are sitting empty, half of something is better than all of nothing. But in your busiest time of year, when you’re turning people away, why would you want to rent a campsite for half price? I sure wouldn’t do it!
Again folks, plan ahead. Yeah, I know, we all want to think we’re free spirited gypsies running up and down the road in our RVs without a care in the world, stopping wherever we want to on a whim, and then taking off whenever the mood strikes us, looking for a new adventure. That’s great, but it doesn’t really happen like that. Not in a popular location during their peak periods. Work within the systems if you have a campground membership, plan ahead and make your reservations well in advance if you want to be assured of a place. How soon is too soon? There’s no such thing. In popular places like the Florida Keys, some RVers make their reservations a year in advance, and renew them before they leave at the end of the season.
Yes, I know. It sucks. But it’s kind of like eating your vegetables – you may not want to, but you have to, like it or not.
It’s Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – I don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain this to you.