…is cut out to run an RV park. Full-timers who’ve travel widely have seen their share of RV park managers and even owners who really should find another line of work.
Our first experience was in Illinois, within our first week of full-time RVing, back in 2009. We were filling our fresh water tank at an RV site we’d paid for when the new owner drove up in her golf cart and demanded to know what we were doing. We explained to her we’d been boondocking a few days and needed to top off our fresh water tank (plus you never know when you might need to use your own supply because something at an RV park or campground goes awry, but we didn’t tell her that).
Later the maintenance man, who’d been work-camping there for many years, said he wasn’t coming back the next year because of her. “She’s never been RVing, doesn’t know anything about it, but thinks she can run this place,” he said. We don’t know if he stayed on the job, because we never went back.
So this past summer, after leaving Theodore Roosevelt National Park, driving more than three days to the Pacific Ocean, we were ready to start our month-long stay at an RV park in Long Beach, Washington. We’d made, and paid for, a month in advance because this was, after all, August at the ocean shore.
I won’t get into the nasty details except to say the woman-half of the owership team was sweet and welcoming. She’d kept a spot right on the oceanside for us. We could move to an even better site the next morning — one situated so our door would open on the ocean side. Ah! Paradise, right?
So the next morning, after patiently waiting for the folks in that site to pack up and move on, we re-parked there, getting our Class C level. No neighbors on the oceanside — just beach grass and the sound of gulls. No one on the other side — as a matter of fact, only one or two other RVs in the entire park. Sites were wide and open — the entire park sat on hard sand. Had we really found a hidden treasure?
Of course, you know what they say about something if it seems too good to be true.
We’d gotten our rig situated and had just started hooking up the power and sewer when the man-half of the park ownership team showed up. He copped an attitude right away. “I’m the owner,” he said. “Dick.” What made us think we could move without him there to guide us into the spot, anyway?
Well, we explained, we’ve been doing this a long time and were pretty practiced at getting the rig backed in.
This is not what the man wanted to hear. He told us we were too far out from under the trees (we didn’t want to be under trees that could leak sap on us… we’ve had our share of cleaning that gooey mess), too far over from here, too close to there. We were going to have to re-park the rig, the man said.
It wasn’t as if we were blocking any other spaces (there was plenty of room) — they weren’t marked anyway. If anything we were leaving more room for others because we like to give ourselves as much space as we can. And we’re mindful of beach grass and wildlife — no encroachment on that, either.
We told him if we were going to have to pack things up and move, we might as well move on down the road.
Fine, he said. I’ll refund the rest of your month’s rent.
The woman met us near the office entrance as we were leaving. She looked miserable. She returned every penny, including the money we’d spent for the night we stayed. We told her she needed to keep her husband away from her park guests. “I try,” she said.
We felt bad for her. No wonder the park was nearly empty in August, despite the location. They’re trying to sell the park. Any takers?