There is an ongoing thread on the Escapees Forum about the fact that Flying J truck stops are now charging RVers $5 to dump their holding tanks. Some of the people who have commented about Flying J’s new policy, as well as some who have written to me about it, are really ticked off, calling it corporate greed and vowing to buy their fuel elsewhere from now on. One fulltime RVer who e-mailed me said “I have bought fuel at Flying J for 8 years, used their dump stations, and spent the night many times. But I’ll go out of my way to avoid them from now on!”
Well, I don’t blame you, brother. The nerve of those guys! After years of giving you free camping and free dumping, now that the economy has changed and businesses are scrambling to cover their costs, let alone make a profit, you deserve to be able to continue to freeload. How dare they start charging you for the same things that commercial campgrounds have been charging for ever since they first opened!
I remember a similar thread last year before the Escapade rally in Sedalia, Missouri, when folks were complaining that barriers in the parking lot of the Sedalia Wal-Mart prevented RVers from entering to dry camp overnight, and there were comments about boycotting the store.
Where is it written that a business has to give its customers anything for free! Good service, yes; a fair price, absolutely; but free camping and the free use of an RV dump station? I guess I missed that memo.
I served many years on my town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and I remember codes requiring businesses to jump through a lot of hoops if they wanted to set up shop in our community. But I can’t ever remember demanding that a business give something away to customers.
For the most part, RVers are pretty special people, and I’m proud to count myself among their numbers. But every barrel has a few bad apples,including ours.
My friend Bill Joyce sent me a link to a blog post yesterday about Wild Horse Casino near Chandler, Arizona. It seems that in the past, RVers had abused the casino’s hospitality by setting up housekeeping for weeks, even months on end. That has changed, and now casino security is clamping down on the RV slobs who take unfair advantage of the casino’s free RV parking. I’m sure that there are some who feel this is unfair too. Probably the same jerks who caused the problem in the first place.
I just don’t get this idea that somebody owes us anything and we deserve to get it. I appreciate it when a business gives me a break, whether it be free camping, free dumping, or a discount on a purchase. But I don’t expect it, and I don’t demand it. And if a business has been generous in the past, but things change and they have to start charging me for a service that was free in the past, I certainly don’t feel offended, I don’t boycott them, and I don’t whine and complain. I appreciate the courtesies of the past, pay up and figure I’m still ahead because of prior savings,and continue to support them. It just seems like the right thing to do.
Thought For The Day – I want to know – therefore I go.