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Old 08-12-2005, 08:39 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Bad Experience at the Minnesota Airstream Park

Hi everyone!

I haven't posted in months, but my husband and I bought a 2005 30' Safari Bunk this spring and are loving it. He recently took all six of our children (12 and under) out to MN to visit family for several weeks this summer. Yes, you read that right: my husband hitched up the Airstream to the Suburban and took off from NH, drove up through Canada, and dropped down into MN by himself with the six children while I stayed home to work (he is a teacher and has all summer off.) Now THAT'S an intrepid man!!

My husband's brother owns a lot in the MN Airstream Park and generously offered my husband the use of his lot for a week or two while they are out there. So far, the experience has not been a good one. My husband left a rather garbled message on our voicemail last night talking about how bad a day it had been, and my son wrote me this morning telling me about how the "old people" at the park get after them about every little thing. They just arrived there yesterday!!!

Now I should explain that my husand and I actually spent a summer (13 yrs ago) in this same Airstream Park when we were newlyweds and had just graduated college. We were both study nerds and not partiers in ANY SENSE of the word, but that entire summer we had to deal with unfriendliness and complaints from other residents of the park, and we felt it was because we were only (gasp!!!) 22 and 28 at the time. While there were a few friendly people there, most of the time we felt a definite chill.

I was hoping that some 14 yrs later, older Airstreamers were finally starting to see the light and realize we ARE the next generation of Airstreamers, but I GUESS NOT I have checked and re-checked the MN Airstream Park's website, and I see nothing about an age requirement or a "no-children-allowed" policy.

Well, I'll keep you updated on the MN Airstream Park Soap Opera I haven't been able to reach my husband on his cell phone this morning, but I'm sure he'll call me to fill me in on it tonight.

I should also say that as parents we are fairly strict and acutely aware of how our kids' behavior affects others. We try very hard to teach our children to respect others (especially their elders) and other's property, so I have a hard time imagining that my husband is just letting the six kids run around the park like a herd of unsupervised animals with no regard for others. That said, kids ARE kids (and I'm not the kind of mother who pretends her kids are little angels at all times), and you can't expect (or even want) them to act like a bunch of old farts. There's a wide world out there, and they are dying to explore it.

Well, thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I know that not ALL Airstreamers or Airstream communities are like that, but it's really disappointing to me that this particular park doesn't seem to have changed its attitude toward younger Airstreamers as the years have passed, and it's even more disappointing that this is the introduction my children are getting to the Airstream community.

Lauren

PS. I composed the above post earlier, but since then I have spoken with my husband who filled me in on some of the details When he arrived at the Airstream Park, his brother's Airstream was still on his lot, and John was going to move that Airstream off the lot and winterize it for his brother that afternoon before hooking setting up our Airstream. Well, some lady came by---a person who knew us years ago when we lived there for a summer (John's parents have owned this lot in the MN Airstream Park since the late 70s/early 80s, and John's brother inherited it through the estate when his parents died)---and guess what her first comment was. Not "Hi! How are you?" NO, it was "I hope you realize you can't have two Airstreams on that lot!! That's totally against the rules" And then John was told that he can't use his brother's lot unless his brother is there, since his brother is the owner. Oh, PUHLEEZE. Anyway, the MN Airstream park advertises on its website that lots are available for $95 a month, so I told my husband, just pay the lousy NINETY-FIVE bucks a week and shut everyone up. Don't they realize this totally leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth?

That said, John did say that a few people who were nice to us all those years ago have been friendly again this time around(and sadly, a dear,sweet older couple who lived across the street from us at the park died), so it's not all bad, but it's just so frustrating----just a few rude, nosy busy-body types can really sour your attitude. It makes me want to tell any Airstreamers with young children (or even anybody who is just laid back and doesn't want to deal with a lot of shenanigans) not EVER to go there.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:10 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, enough old people act that way to give the entire age group a bad name. The ones that grouse the loudest are the ones that:

get up at 6 AM.
shave and perform their other ablutions from 6- 630 AM
eat breakfast from 6:30-7 AM
sweep the sidewalk from 7-7:30 AM
read the newspaper from 7:30-8:30 AM
etc
etc
etc
Every day.
They intensely dislike any change in their routine, and strangers, especially strangers with kids, definately are a change in their routine, even if all it means to them is they watch from behind their curtains.
I would go on, but I don't want to sound like an old grump...
Good luck with the Geritol Follies.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
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I've always said that 'grumpy old men' made for a fun movie, but 'grumpy old men (and ladies)' in the real world aren't so amusing.

Unfortunately, a few put down roots and feel they have every right of eminent domain, and it isn't just old folks - NIMBYism is everywhere in many guises.

I hope the neighbors warm up to your family - maybe they are just expecting the worst, and when they get to know your little darlins, they'll be less mean. people generally mellow.
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:33 AM   #4
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What a rotten experience. Thanks for warning those of us who plan to try out Airstream parks as we travel. We certainly won't try that one.

I can report an experience at the Highland Haven AS park in Virginia that was the polar opposite of your husband's experience. We pulled in there in late afternoon and were greeted as if we were old friends. It made us want to stay, or to return soon.

Pat
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Old 08-16-2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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Tell DH if he hooks up now, he can make it back in time for our rally in Rochester this weekend. We like kids of all ages.
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:02 PM   #6
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MN Park Experience

We stayed at the Minnesota A/S park in late July. My initial contact was very favorable--I had sent an e-mail to one of the addresses listed on the website and received a reply with a coupon for two free nights at the park, compliments of the Land Yacht Caravaners Club. When I called the park directly to make a reservation, I was asked if we owned an Airstream , which I thought a bit odd, but I believe the park host was away at the time, so perhaps the person who answered the phone was just being thorough.

In any case, although the coupon caused a little confusion when we checked in for our 4-night stay, we were taken to our site. We arrived during the week, so there weren't very many people around; nobody ever said much more than 'hi' to us in passing. Admittedly, we weren't spending much time outdoors--the bloodthirsty mosquitoes and deer flies made our visit to the park rather unpleasant--and we did appear to be about 30 years younger than average. There were kids (grandkids?) who showed up over the weekend (several of whom marched around our circle with little signs, chanting "no more war" -??-) and doing the usual kid-things, like riding bicycles and running around playing.

Overall, I'd have to rate our experience here as fairly neutral. I definitely expected more of a welcoming "community" atmosphere than we experienced; we were obvious outsiders and were treated as such. We never got reprimanded--even when we took a quiet day to wash and Walbernize at our site--but we don't have kids for anybody to fret about, either. Hope things got better for 6xblessd and family.
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:23 PM   #7
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Lightbulb Sorry to hear that about the Mn park experience

Its bad enough when a person doesn't feel welcome, but when its your own babies who aren't welcome, that's really hard. Maybe campgrounds can be more up front, like kids 12 and under welcome or not welcome? When we camp at parks that have lots of kids running around and people smiling at us and our kid, its such a relief. You know we wouldn't go to a place where we weren't welcome, we understand about different lifestyles. On the other hand you can have crotchedy folks at state parks, had a guy mad about supervised kids singing around the campfire and roasting marshmellows at 7 pm cause he was trying to watch CNN at his campsite.
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:06 PM   #8
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We have heard similar stories about the Landyacht Harbor in Lacey, WA. One story even came from a person that lives there. She said that growing up there things were great. Everyone had kids, grandkids, etc running around. But over time, as these people grew older, they became more unaccepting of things. This was disappointing to her as her children grew up loving Airstreams but felt the crowd there didn't want them there. They tend to like retirees with newer trailers, and those with vintage are often only greeted when it is a rally weekend. It has become her and her husband's mission to make vintage owners and younger travelers welcome. They go and check the campground daily for new arrivals and invite them to dinner. Change is slow, but I'm glad that there are those working to promote change in these areas.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:09 PM   #9
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Here's hoping that it was just an 'unfortunate' beginning to your family's outing.

Never been to the Minnesota park, although we did talk to someone several years ago about purchasing their trailer that they had there.

Our experiences with Airstream parks are limited to Land Yacht Harbor in Washington; and those experiences are all wonderful. We try to spend several weekends a year there.

The people are friendly - we sometimes remark we may wakeup with a sore shoulder from the constant waving to everyone as we walk around the development!

Everyone is friendly, as the Uberlanders commented in their reply. However...I haven't yet met the lady "who invites everyone to dinner!"

We're planning our next trip there in early September.

jim
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:58 PM   #10
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We stayed at the Minnesota Airstream Park for one night in July of 2004. We got to the park after dark and several people went out of their way to help us out. We are much younger than the average at the park but the next morning everyone we met waved or greeted us warmly. As we were leaving we stopped in town to check the trailer and someone from the park stopped to see if we needed any help finding the Airstream Park. If we were a couple hundred miles closer I would consider getting a spot at the park.

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Old 08-22-2005, 06:04 PM   #11
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Angry Were They Soured by Your Attitude?

The original post by "6xblessd" reeks of self centered and discriminatory attitudes and behavior. It really bothers me on a number of levels, so I just HAVE to respond...sorry!

***
6xblessd wrote:
My husband's brother owns a lot in the MN Airstream Park and generously offered my husband the use of his lot for a week or two while they are out there.

Rob writes:
So, did the husband's brother even bother to check if bylaws allow him to "loan" his lot to someone else? Airstream Parks, like many RV parks or cooperative living situation are communities, and not campgrounds. Other Airstreamers are welcomed as renters in the spirit of Wally Byam Airstreamer comeradery, but as in most cooperative living situations (even apartment buildings organized as a cooperative) the use of the property is limited to shareholders and family of shareholders when WITH the shareholder. I'm guessing the MN Airstream Park has bylaws about "loaning" lots, most RV parks do. That said, such rules are not necessarily enforced when all other things are equal.

6xblessd wrote:
my son wrote me this morning telling me about how the "old people" at the park get after them about every little thing.

Rob writes:
This would be an opportunity to have a conversation with your son about generalizations and scapegoating. Referring to "the old people" is reflective of ageist attitudes; why do you paint all "old people" with such a broad stroke?? Has it occurred to you that maybe your son was just bored in a place that didn't have a lot kids his age to play with? Categorizing people like that is unfair, and it's not hard to see where he gets that tendency from...you did the same thing to everyone at the MN Airstream Park in your post, shame on you! Besides being unfair to the "old people" and park owners of all ages, you're missing an opportunity to bond with your elders and learn about life....unless of course you have all the answers.

6xblessd wrote:
Now I should explain that my husand and I actually spent a summer (13 yrs ago) in this same Airstream Park when we were newlyweds and had just graduated college. We were both study nerds and not partiers in ANY SENSE of the word, but that entire summer we had to deal with unfriendliness and complaints from other residents of the park, and we felt it was because we were only (gasp!!!) 22 and 28 at the time. While there were a few friendly people there, most of the time we felt a definite chill.


Rob writes:
More of those ageist generalizations! You maintain that you didn't party, so therefore anyone who wasn't friendly or complained automatically disliked you because you were "young"?? Maybe it was your attitude towards them. It sounds to me like you have a LOT to learn about respecting others, especially respecting elders. Disrespect is the one thing that will often get you the cold shoulder in the midwest, people here try hard to be respectful of others (and I'm not originally from here). I suppose next it will be race and religion.

6xblessd wrote:
I was hoping that some 14 yrs later, older Airstreamers were finally starting to see the light and realize we ARE the next generation of Airstreamers, but I GUESS NOT

Rob writes:
More ageist rhetoric! Well, if you were 24 yrs old 14 years ago, then having barely broken 30 (just turned 31 this year), you're OLDER than me; should I use your post as cause to "tell the world" that your generation is disrespectful and highly ageist?? I wouldn't dream of generalizing ONE BAD EXPERIENCE that way. I would have hoped that some 14 yrs later you would have grown up a little.

6xblessd wrote:
I have checked and re-checked the MN Airstream Park's website, and I see nothing about an age requirement or a "no-children-allowed" policy.

Rob writes:
Again with the ageist thing!! Dearest, I'm afraid someone is going to have just say it in a very direct manner: it's not your age; there are old and young people everywhere, and they aren't out to get you! It's your attitude. I've spent time at the MN Airstream Park and had nothing but positive experiences. Yes, there are a number of older folks there, and I found them to be very friendly and thoughtful of others...and although it apparently escaped your demonstratedly narrow focus, there ARE owners there who are YOUNGER than you! What does that do to your theory? Maybe it's just those East Coast people; oh wait a second, I'm originally from the east coast! Guess I must have recovered from it <wink & smile>. OK there was one gentleman who was crabby, but don't you find one crab in just about any crowd??


6xblessd wrote:
I'll keep you updated on the MN Airstream Soap Opera I haven't been able to reach my husband on his cell phone this morning, but I'm sure he'll call me to fill me in on it tonight.

Rob writes:
Oh the drama of it all! Hmmm...I think there is a clear pattern of drama here...is someone aspiring to become a full fledged "Drama Queen"? Please spare us.

6xblessd wrote:
When he arrived at the Airstream Park, his brother's Airstream was still on his lot, and John was going to move that Airstream off the lot and winterize it for his brother that afternoon before hooking setting up our Airstream.

Rob writes:
Winterize an Airstream in the middle of summer?? The B.S. alert is sounding! Plus, what did you plan to DO with the second Airstream when moved off the lot? Nobody would put TWO Airstreams on ONE lot, would they??

6xblessd wrote:
Well, some lady came by---a person who knew us years ago when we lived there for a summer (John's parents have owned this lot in the MN Airstream Park since the late 70s/early 80s, and John's brother inherited it through the estate when his parents died)---and guess what her first comment was. Not "Hi! How are you?" NO, it was "I hope you realize you can't have two Airstreams on that lot!!

Rob writes:
OK, the reference to inlaws might explain something; is this a domestic issue that you're blaming the "old people" in the park for?? Are you trying to "get even" with your inlaws for something by trashing their park online? And honestly, what would you have had the lady say "oh hello, thank you very much for squeezing two Airstreams onto one lot, you must be very talented to be able to manage that, we wish everyone would overcrowd our park that way"? Exactly by WHOM and WHERE do you think that would that be welcomed?? I lived in a pretty rough neighborhood a lot of years, so I value the folks brave enough to work at maintaining quality of life through enforcement of rules which were made for a reason.

6xblessd wrote:
And then John was told that he can't use his brother's lot unless his brother is there, since his brother is the owner. Oh, PUHLEEZE. (snip) Don't they realize this totally leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth?

Rob writes:
There you have it, they DO have a rule about who is allowed to use the lots, it's not uncommon; most leases have that clause. Part of the reason is making sure the user is actually authorized to use it. But, let's blame "old people" for us either not knowing or caring about the rule and the thinking behind it! Leaves a sour taste in your mouth? I read this as: "I didn't like the rules, and they wouldn't let me break them as I saw fit, so they're horrible people" I hope you haven't been teaching that attitude to your children.

6xblessd wrote:
just a few rude, nosy busy-body types can really sour your attitude. It makes me want to tell any Airstreamers with young children (or even anybody who is just laid back and doesn't want to deal with a lot of shenanigans) not EVER to go there.

Rob writes:
Well, that's what you just tried to do, tell the whole world not to go there...but your attitude seems to have been soured long ago, and you are indeed rude and full of shenanigans. I'd guess this has blunted your ability to convincingly "tell the world".

All I have to add at this point is that my experiences at the MN Airstream park and all other Airstream Parks I have visited have been WONDERFUL. I hope Airstreamers will see through the self-centered drama of "6xblessd" and continue to support them in their travels, many can really use the revenue which is tight everywhere these days. Note that the post by "6xblessd" never once considers the perspective of folks at the park, (i.e. owners) which is probably reflective of their behavior and explains a lot. You do reap what you sow.

Rob
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Old 08-22-2005, 07:41 PM   #12
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rob,

you were spot on in your analysis of 6xblessd review of the MN airstream park. however, the way i read your post - and i could be off as tone rarely makes it's way through written text - was that you were attacking her on some level for her "self centered" rant.

your same very public points could have been made with a more toned down approach. like suggesting that 6xblessd look at the people in the park (and in general) in a slightly different light.

Summer 2005 was my family's first summer at jersey shore haven airstream park. the demographic of share holders sounds similiar to the MN park. JSH has mostly retired people who are full timing at the park in the summer months. personally i love my social interation with ALL the folks there. it's worth noting that the park hostess does not hold back in keeping my 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son, their firends, and the two other children in the park, in line. fine by me.

the one other young couple (30 somethings) with kids 5-7 years old don't see interacting with the folks residing in the park the same way you and i do. the other couple is more in line with 6xblessd when they share their opinions about their time at JSH. i'm trying to help them see it all in a different light - usually help by beer, smores (what a combo - ouch) and a campfire.

Call me prejudiced, but i think that ALL airstream owners are happening folks regardless of what year they graduated high school.

my personal challenge this summer at JSH is to teach some of the people there that the Internet is not "evil" as i've been so informed. i added wifi service to the pavillion and it's been a hoot teaching four and five star airstreamers about all that is out there on the net - and usually pertaining to airstreaming.

rob, i'm with you. it should NEVER be about age - it's should be about the person behind the skin they happen to be wearing. I sit here wishing I was at JSH right now. only four days to go 'til the weekend!

--dave

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Old 08-22-2005, 10:13 PM   #13
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Rob, I agree with Dave that you have correctly appraised "6xblessed's" post. She may come across as self centered, however, you come across as self righteous. I think you could have handled your flaming her with a little more diplomacy and your post would have been constructive criticism rather than falling on deft ears. It is apparent that your only goal was to attack her not to mentor her into seeing things from "the other side of the fence". We too are a community here and you are not looking at things from her viewpoint anymore than she is seeing things from the viewpoint of the residents of this park.

I would certainly hope that her family realizes that they are guest in this park, and as such, have only the right to follow the rules and not disturb their hosts by behaving themselves in a manner as if they were visitors in someone else's home. In essence, they are.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:19 PM   #14
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Interesting posts all. I have to say that OUR experience at the Minnesota A/S park last summer with OUR kids was significantly different than what has been expressed by 6xblessed. There were only a couple of folks who didn't wave, but most of those who were out and about recognized us as visitors and would come out of their sites to introduce themselves. My 14 year old and his friend roamed extensively without incident. Frankly, we all hated to leave. We discussed at length buying the lot we'd been in for the weekend, but we decided that the distance was just too great for weekend jaunts that far up for us. Overall, I was impressed, both with the place and the folks there. 6xblessed, I'm sorry to hear that wasn't the case for you and your family.

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