Woodbury Hits Home on Checkout Time Query
Editor's Note: Chuck Woodbury, editor of RVTravel.com, wrote a column last week suggesting that campgrounds need to amend their checkout times to more fairly accommodate campers. In an online survey, whose preliminary results were tallied at 10:30 a.m. EST today (Feb. 4) the overwhelming percentage – 63.93% to be exact – said 1 p.m. would be a fair checkout time to both RVers and the campgrounds. Next popular was noon, at 24.85%, followed by 7.89% who said 11 a.m. and 3.33% who said later than 1 p.m. His follow-up column on this topic appears below in his latest newsletter.
Letters poured in last week about my essay urging campgrounds to extend their checkout times from a stingy 11 a.m. to later. Most of the readers agreed with my comments, but others, mostly workampers, defended the early checkout time with horror stories about awful campers who left their campsites a mess. Most of their stories, however, had nothing to do with checkout times. "They pulled apart a fence to use for firewood," was one comment.
Most of these people said that if someone wanted to stay longer, they were usually allowed. They just need to ask. I say that they should not need to ask. One o'clock should be the official time, not 11 a.m.
From what I have observed through the years, nearly all campgrounds have campsites available for any early arrivals because 90% of the overnight campers leave early. My guess is that 99.7% of campers leave their space as clean as when they arrived and I don't think RV parks kick us out early because they need time to clean our sites: I think they do it because they have always done it, and nobody bothers to ask "Why?" So I say that unless there is a compelling reason, RV parks should do away with the 11 a.m. check out time and make it 1 p.m. It's the right thing to do. If you missed my essay last week, read it here.