Campgrounds: The New Normal
copyright janet groene 2020
Are you feeling frustrated when the bottom keeps dropping out of your RV camping plans because of some new rule or fee? Me too. Here’s where knowledge is power.
These days it’s important to know not just where you are going but what lies between you and that destination. Your destination may be open but your route should be changed because of flood, wildfire, rock slide or other emergency.
Here is this week’s latest gathering of news and cues from the changing world of RV travel. This is just a sampling but it shows the importance of checking ahead, being flexible and always having a Plan B. Some of my best travel experiences have been caused by what seemed like disasters at the time.
Don’t let fear ruin the fun.
* Some luxury resort campgrounds have adopted the common hotel practice of putting a substantial Hold on your credit or debit card at the time you make reservations. In other words, you haven’t committed just the cost of the campsite but a reserve fund for charges you might make such as greens fees or restaurant meals. If you’re getting close to your credit limit, these charges could put you over the top without knowing it.
* It’s common for many businesses now to ask customers to sign a liability waiver before using, say, the hot tub or zip line. Now some campgrounds ask for you to sign such a waiver before entering, even for a simple overnight stay.
* If you are attending an event such as a concert or fair where RV camping is available, two reservations and deposits may be required, each with different rules, fees and refund requirements.
* More and more campgrounds now prohibit campers from bringing their own firewood because of concerns over spread of some pest or disease. They may, however, offer firewood for sale. In addition, fire bans come and go quickly, banning all open fires. Be prepared to cook another way.
* When a campground says they do propane refills, check ahead to make sure this applies to built-in as well as removable tanks.
* If a quarantine is in place, you may have to wait seven to 14 days before entering or leaving. COVID rules vary widely among states, cities, counties and countries and may change quickly.
|Campfires may be banned completely or built only with firewood purchased at the campground|
* Reservations have become easier. Thanks to the interview, you can reserve not just a campsite but THE site in THE loop that you want. However, cancellation policies differ greatly. Even deposits that are refundable may be minus a “conveniece” fee of $5 to $10.
* RV-ing with a pet has never been easier but new rules may apply about veterinarian records, shots or social distancing in dog parks and also in equestrian camping.
* The campground may be open but the pool, restaurant or other feature may be closed. Know before you go.
We’ll keep up with these changes and welcome your input. Have you encountered a new twist on camping rules? Please leave a comment to share
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