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Old 06-19-2010, 09:01 PM   #1
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Camping World maybe not so RV friendly

On a recent trip to the Smokey Mtn's, I was held up in traffic in Atlanta. The Camping World Chattanooga store is on the way and I stopped in their parking lot at 10:15 PM to park overnight. At 11:45 PM the host of the adjacent campground knocked on my door and advised me that overnight parking was prohibited and that I would have to move to the campground at $22 a night or leave. I chose to leave. I have previously stopped overnight at other Camping World locations and the web site for this one in Chattanooga listed 'overnight parking' in the services section. I contacted Camping World thru the web and received a call from a person at the Chattanooga store saying they were sorry about the rudeness of the campground host and that the web site was being changed about overnight parking. I was told that the dealer does not allow overnight parking. I contacted Camping World corporate to inquire about the policy on 'overnight parking'. I received a reply that policies at Camping World stores on private property are determined by the property owner. Also, local ordinances may not permit overnight parking. It was suggested that I check with each Camping World store that I might be visiting about overnight parking. I suspect that many of these property owners are RV dealers and campground owners. It seems ironic that an RV service and product supplier would not be more accommodating to the customer that they rely on for revenue. I am confused about the Camping World organization structure and their policies. I am now discouraged from buying anything from Camping World.
Frank
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:42 PM   #2
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It's not an easy topic for me to set my fingers on immediately, but we have had some good documentation in threads about communities or even states (eg, Maine) where courtesy camping at WalMart or CW is forbidden by law.

I was under the impression that Holiday Inn Express allowed pets nationwide and made a reservation at one early this last spring. You can guess the rest. We arrived after 6:00PM and they were kind enough not to charge us for our reservation. Actually referred us to a local motel that allowed pets. Kudos to the Emporia, KS, H.I. Express.

So like anything... your results may vary.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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It is my understanding that Camping World was sold approximately 5-7 years ago by its founder. At that time, they owned all of their locations. The new owner has done a lot of franchising of regular RV dealers into camping world outlets.

There are many more outlets now but, not "company owned" locations in many cases.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank McFee View Post
On a recent trip to the Smokey Mtn's, I was held up in traffic in Atlanta. The Camping World Chattanooga store is on the way and I stopped in their parking lot at 10:15 PM to park overnight. At 11:45 PM the host of the adjacent campground knocked on my door and advised me that overnight parking was prohibited and that I would have to move to the campground at $22 a night or leave. I chose to leave. I have previously stopped overnight at other Camping World locations and the web site for this one in Chattanooga listed 'overnight parking' in the services section. I contacted Camping World thru the web and received a call from a person at the Chattanooga store saying they were sorry about the rudeness of the campground host and that the web site was being changed about overnight parking. I was told that the dealer does not allow overnight parking. I contacted Camping World corporate to inquire about the policy on 'overnight parking'. I received a reply that policies at Camping World stores on private property are determined by the property owner. Also, local ordinances may not permit overnight parking. It was suggested that I check with each Camping World store that I might be visiting about overnight parking. I suspect that many of these property owners are RV dealers and campground owners. It seems ironic that an RV service and product supplier would not be more accommodating to the customer that they rely on for revenue. I am confused about the Camping World organization structure and their policies. I am now discouraged from buying anything from Camping World.
Frank
Frank.... I understand that there was some confusion with the information on Camping World's site about overnight parking. The part I don't understand is when you were advised of the misunderstanding you did not pay the $22 and stay at the campground. The Good Sam site lists the name of the facility as Camping World RV Sales & Campground. I don't think that Camping World deserve a bad rap for this situation. I find it difficult to understand why the owner of a $40k + Airstream would not pay the owner of the facility a camping fee of $22 to stay overnight. Would you expect a KOA to allow you to park in their lot for free?
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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I suspect that they have the lot open for overnighters primarily because of the relatively large numbers of folks who go to CW for repairs to the RV. If you need to overnight for convenience (and not for repairs), then it might be better to seek out the local bigbox store.

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Old 06-20-2010, 09:46 AM   #6
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You will run into this in many locations where local ordnance does not allow overnight parking.

Many stories about parking at WalMart and police banging on the RV door at 2 AM telling the RV'er to move on or get a ticket. In every case the RV'er did not check with the local management before parking.

Hard to blame CW if overnight parking is prohibited by local ordnance.

Just like Wal-Mart and other places that allow overnight parking you need to check with the local management to find their policy and city ordnance.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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I would not have paid $22.00 either. At 10:30 at night I am not paying camping fees, I want a parking lot or a truck stop. The obvious assumption is the lot belonged to camping world. It probably was not obvious that the near by campground was owned by the same. I don't argue their right to the policy, just would have driven on as Frank did. ( The TN. welcome center is a mile further north)
I have not been happy with the camping world situation as they have grown and started franchising. I guess one of the disadvantages of being a long time RV owner is I can remember when they were one store. Camping at the adjoining Beach Bend Park was $ .10 ( yes. 10 cents) and they would install anything for $5.00
Of course the one advantage now is there are a lot more of them
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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I can see your point of view, Frank, but I can't blame CW, they gotta be Capitalists and make a buck, and $22 isn't unreasonable, especially if you have full hookup-you didn't indicate whether they did or not; I've stayed in dives for a lot more. If the campground host was rude, that's one thing, but it doesn't sound like he was from your post.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:14 AM   #9
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Chill, brother...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank McFee View Post
On a recent trip to the Smokey Mtn's, I was held up in traffic in Atlanta. The Camping World Chattanooga store is on the way and I stopped in their parking lot at 10:15 PM to park overnight. At 11:45 PM the host of the adjacent campground knocked on my door and advised me that overnight parking was prohibited and that I would have to move to the campground at $22 a night or leave. I chose to leave. I have previously stopped overnight at other Camping World locations and the web site for this one in Chattanooga listed 'overnight parking' in the services section. I contacted Camping World thru the web and received a call from a person at the Chattanooga store saying they were sorry about the rudeness of the campground host and that the web site was being changed about overnight parking. I was told that the dealer does not allow overnight parking. I contacted Camping World corporate to inquire about the policy on 'overnight parking'. I received a reply that policies at Camping World stores on private property are determined by the property owner. Also, local ordinances may not permit overnight parking. It was suggested that I check with each Camping World store that I might be visiting about overnight parking. I suspect that many of these property owners are RV dealers and campground owners. It seems ironic that an RV service and product supplier would not be more accommodating to the customer that they rely on for revenue. I am confused about the Camping World organization structure and their policies. I am now discouraged from buying anything from Camping World.
Frank
The issue may not be with CW Corporate as much as it is with the type of liability insurance the owner has for his Chattanooga store. Local criminal activity in the area may make it cost-ineffective to have insurance coverage to accommodate the occasional RV'er looking for a free place to park.

I'd give them a "buy" on this one, Frank.

...my $0.02
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:00 AM   #10
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We just have to realize this is not The Land Of The Free anymore...
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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For information, Wal-Mart in Spearfish, SD by City Ordinance, over night camping on their lot is forbidden.

On our current 3 month trip in our Airstream I had a situation come up where I need a repair on the AS. Called Camping World's at several different locations and was told I would have to make a reservation 4-5 days in advance to scedual my repair. We took our AS to another RV facility and was worked in for repair upon our arrival. This has happened twice in the last 3 years where we were unable to get something repaired at Camping World without make an appointment several days in advance.

I have also found them to be a little on the high side when compared to other sources.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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Yep, gaylejoe, when we were living in Denton with a CW just a couple of miles away, we found that their prices weren't that great at all. Once in a while with the Prez Club discount you could get a good deal, but the more general state was higher prices, including on repairs to appliances.

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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On our way south to California in January 2010 from British Columbia we also had trouble finding a Walmart that would allow overnight parking. The two reasons given were too much local crime and full timers that lost their homes in the poor aconomy abusing the one night policy.

On our way home we stopped to shop at Camping World, this is a copy of an email to CW that was sent today July (were is the sunhine?) 5 2010.

"On May 14 2010 we purchased two patio recliners at the Burlington Washington Store. Receipt bar code 990053024xxxxxxxxx. Shortly after returning to Canada we received a promotional email announcing that our two Silver Ridge Recliners were on sale. I contacted the store and was told I had 3 months to come to the store and receive a credit for the difference. On June 25 2010 my wife was refused service at the Burlington Washington Store because the chairs were no longer on sale. I was not told that information. In the past we have received good service. A new fridge installed in our Airstream Trailer. A Honda 3000 generator. Many other purchases over the years. Please authorize a credit for the difference in price- 2 Silver Ridge Recliners- 2 @ $129.99 = $259.98
Sale Price 2 @ $89.99 = $179. 98
Please authorize a credit of $80.00
This request will be posted on Airstream Forums so that your customer service can be observed by hundreds of potential customers.
Jim Irwin"
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Frank.... I understand that there was some confusion with the information on Camping World's site about overnight parking. The part I don't understand is when you were advised of the misunderstanding you did not pay the $22 and stay at the campground. The Good Sam site lists the name of the facility as Camping World RV Sales & Campground. I don't think that Camping World deserve a bad rap for this situation. I find it difficult to understand why the owner of a $40k + Airstream would not pay the owner of the facility a camping fee of $22 to stay overnight. Would you expect a KOA to allow you to park in their lot for free?
I couldn't agree more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
We just have to realize this is not The Land Of The Free anymore...
I think what you mean, or should mean, is that this is the land of the free, but not the free ride. Even if it is for just one night.

Quote:
It seems ironic that an RV service and product supplier would not be more accommodating to the customer that they rely on for revenue.
Uh, what revenue.

You wanted a free night of dry camping in what almost amounts to the driveway of a full hook-up camp ground. Seems that you were being unreasonable in wanting a freebie without spending money in the store or service center. I know many RV service centers will provide a "terra-port" such as the one at the factory service center in Jackson Center for their service customers free for the number of nights required by the service and this may be the case at this CW. If you aren't there for service, there would be no reason to assume that they would extend such a policy to a passer through.

The campground at this particular Camping World is a revenue stream for the store with full hook-ups, swimming pool, bath house, etc. and you were wanting to bypass the system and deny them the revenue they would be entitled to from any one else passing through.

I'm not trying to start anything, just my $.02.
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