Checklist for arriving at or checking into a campground
New RV'ers are always a bit apprehensive before making their first trip. This apprehension generally has them searching for some form of checklist to make certain that they are not forgetting some important items. To help these new RV'ers I have developed some items that are intended to stimulate the though process--------------. You will note that the following is not a checklist but items that may be included on your personal checklist.
Checklist for arriving at or checking into a campground:
There are any number of things that can and probably should be taken care of when checking into a campground. The items presented below are just some of the things you may want to include in your checklist. Remember, we all have different comfort levels and are traveling with many different needs and security issues. We will all vary greatly on the importance of these items.
1. Name & Address of the Campground. If by chance you have to make an emergency call you need to be able to tell someone where you are. DAH! Some campgrounds have a map/or pamphlet that they give you with pertinent phone numbers. We usually try to get two of these one for the motorhome and one for the Saturn. If you are in a BAD wreck and have one of these pamphlets in your automobile it will give officers some information on where you may be staying. That could be very important if you have animals (cats, dogs, birds etc.,) in your RV that need to be tended to.
2. Name of the person giving you the information. If you happen to be challenged for doing something in the campground during your stay you want to be able to tell them who it was that told you that it was OK! This usually is not important to us but if we wanted to go for a midnight swim in the pool or hot tub we might want to know the name of the employee that said it was OK. Use your judgment.
3. Where is the nearest emergency shelter?
Don't be bashful about determining where the emergency shelter is. We never use campground bathrooms so we never get a key to get in the bathroom door nor do we get the combination if it is a touchpad type. Well, let me say we used to not get a key or the combination, that has changed. It changed when we were in the Casino Campground in East St. Louis right across from the arch. This is a real nice RV-Park with locks on their bathroom doors. The bathrooms happen to be the storm shelter. To make a long story short when it is time to get into the storm shelter, say at 3:AM, you need the key/combination to get into the storm shelter. Now if the restrooms are the storm shelter we get the key/combination, and you should also.
4. Ask the manager or person checking you in where they go in case there is a tornado. If they give you a "deer-in-the-head-lights-look" you will want to ask someone else. Those folks behind the desk are part of the crowd that is going to wonder what to do in case of a tornado when it is 2AM and there isn't anyone to ask. You saw those folks on TV after hurricane Katrina.
5. Ask about the source of water for the campground. Is it from a well or municipal source? Ask if there is anything about the quality of the water that you should know about. Many campgrounds are not connected to municipal water supplies that are monitored and presumably provide safe water. When you ask they are obligated to inform you about things they may not otherwise disclose to you (but you have to ask).
6. Ask about the campgrounds water pressure, is it over 45-psi?
7. Ask what COUNTY the RV-Park/Campground is in.
8. What is the Campground phone number?
9. Ask the person that is checking you in what you should know about
crime in the vicinity-----assault, robbery, burglary, firearms, etc.,?
10. Ask if 911 is the proper number to call for emergency.
11. Ask where their favorite restaurant is, where do they shop for groceries, and "must see" attractions in the area. Ask them about unique things to see or do that might not be classified as tourist attractions. Things like Rodeo's high-school football games, fishing tournaments, lumberjack contests, manufacturing plant tours, plant nurseries, large trees or plants, beautiful views, special spots on the lake or river, farms where one can pick fruit, riding stables, places to take a "post card" quality picture, farmers markets, flea markets, neat hardware stores, tubing/canoeing opportunities, hiking trails, old houses or sections of town and local landmarks.
12. Ask if there is any concern with flash flooding. Out west many campgrounds are located in canyons along creeks/rivers that can overflow through the campground. It is best to ask especially if rain is in the forecast.
Once checked in you will move to your campsite and:
12. Before connecting electricity check the campground voltage and polarity. If voltage is below 105 volts or above 130 volts things are not right with campground electricity. Also if polarity is not correct that could cause major problems. Speak with campground management about these issues before plugging in.
13. Connect a water pressure regulator to the campground hose bib then connect your fresh water supply hose to the pressure regulator. That way you are protecting your supply hose as well as your RV.