Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RV camping confrontation

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have retired and live in a small travel trailer. It is just the right size for us. We have been on the road for almost a year and we are loving it. The only problem I have is my wife. She gets annoyed by our camping neighbors way too often. I am a retired State Police Officer, but she thinks I’m still on the job. I admit we do get some real winners parking next to us at times. We were just in Glacier National Park and our neighbor was breaking just about all the rules at one time. It was more than my wife could handle, so I went over and had a talk with him. That did not go well. We were in a no generator zone, no firewood gathering, and a no burn ban was on. This nut case had his generator fired up to run his electric chainsaw. He was cutting down trees so he could feed his enormous campfire. After I talked to him and he told me to buzz off, the campground host showed up. He did listen to the host and stopped his insanity. If I was the sheriff in town, he would have been fined so heavily he would have needed a loan to get home. I don’t want my wife unhappy. I don’t want to be the law east or west of the Pecos, and I do not want to be annoyed. Am I asking too much for the campground administrators to do their job? Isn’t it part of what I pay for in my fees? Things are so lax that people keep pushing the limits of noise, rule breaking and litter. No consequences just embolden them. Do you think it’s my background? Do I need some professional help in letting my past training go?
--Cop off the beaten path

Dear Cop:
It is not just your background. We all deal with this insanity on a regular basis. We watched something similar one night in a Forest Service campground. The host came by, hesitated a moment, and moved along. I heard him say, mostly to himself, “People, ya gotta hate ‘em.” In fairness to the host, it is not his job to police the area either. But it is his job to call in backup. Now with so many camping areas going to a concession status, jurisdiction keeps getting cloudier and law enforcement less available. If you are going to do anything, I would suggest you report to the nearest local management. At that point you have done what you can. Hang up the badge. If you can’t seem to hang up the badge, become a host. Just because it is not the host's job to confront unruly people, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. Every campground should have a chain of command. Someone’s in charge. Things can be done, it’s just not your job as a registered camper. You will not be considered someone of authority, just a complaining neighbor. You will find things get resolved much quicker by going through the proper channels. It is much better for your wife to be a bit frustrated than you in a verbal or physical confrontation with someone who obviously isn’t too squared away to begin with.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Be very cautious when confronting anyone because, as the survey of RV Travel readers show, most RV owners are Right Wing Conservatives, which is the group that most supports "Gun Rights." This group is also most likely to grab their gun when they feel confronted or threatened.

Anonymous said...

The right wing conservatives are also the most likely to be Christian and law abiding. Just because someone believes in the constitution of the United States does not make them a threat.

Gary said...

Dear Blog Author and Anonymous: Just as with the offending camper, some folks have no respect for basic protocol. Political spoutings, especially under the cover of Anonomous, have no place within the intent of this valuable newsletter here to advise and inform the RV community.

Dr Dave said...

I understand why you posted as anonymous. You have no facts to back your statement which is exactly diametrically opposed to reality.

Dog Folks said...

You mentioned that you are retired. As hard as it might be, stay retired. Enjoy it.

Let the host do his job and either solve the problem or call in help.

Not "your" problem anymore.

Anonymous said...

most campers are great people but 80% have dogs and half of them leave them barking all day while they go off to enjoy their peaceful day

Anonymous said...

Really? I can't fathom why you even wrote that...

Anonymous said...

You should be cautious when approaching anyone. Just because someone beliefs in their second amendment rights does not make him or her more or less dangerous.

Rollin on RVer said...

Wow, just because a person is a conservative and supports the right to keep and bear arms means the first thing they'll do is grab a gun and shoot someone in a dispute. Typical left wing liberal stereotyping! Contrary to your assumptions the majority of gun owners are responsible and use common sense. The safe and responsible use of firearms far outweighs the irresponsible use.

Anonymous said...

Of course you could strap on yours before you walked over to make the point that you are capable of defending yourself. :D

Paul said...

Baloney! History shows you are much more likely to be shot by a left wing liberal who opposes gun rights than by a conservative who supports them! Confronting ANYONE is not a good idea unless absolutely necessary in defense of life or property. Contacting the proper authority is a much wiser/safer option even though that often does little good.

Jerry X Shea said...

AHHHH, to get back on track.
Retired Cop - the answer to your problem is the old cliche "you get what you pay for." You are paying to park your RV in places that those type of RV neighbors also park. If you are trying to full time you are going at it wrong. Front load your RV parking by joining Coast to Coast ($10-15 a night), Resorts of Distinction (0 per night) and Resort Parks International (discount pricing) These are membership parks (Joe Generator can't aford it). It will take a little of your retirement money, however, in the long run and over time it will pay for itself big time. We just came back from a 2 year trip to the east coast - average cost per night $18.54. We paid 0 - nothing to park for a week in the Florida Keys.