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Old 03-23-2020, 06:11 PM   #1
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Shelter from the storm

Jackson and I have been Airstream full-timer for the past 7 years. On fb I saw that Top of Georgia was staying open for full-timers so we made plans. We are in TX visiting our son but now it is time to shelter in place. TCPC is now closed to visitor til 5/15. I just called Top of Georgia before we make our 900 mile trek and the vibes are not good.

Do we go to Top of Georgia, which we just joined their unit? We need a base. Any ideas?
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:27 PM   #2
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Jackson and I have been Airstream full-timer for the past 7 years. On fb I saw that Top of Georgia was staying open for full-timers so we made plans. We are in TX visiting our son but now it is time to shelter in place. TCPC is now closed to visitor til 5/15. I just called Top of Georgia before we make our 900 mile trek and the vibes are not good.

Do we go to Top of Georgia, which we just joined their unit? We need a base. Any ideas?
The Airstream Parks group page on Facebook has the most recent announcements regarding the seasonal plans for the individual Airstream parks. TCPC is opening April 15, 2020 for members only. No non-member visits are permitted and reservations from non-members for the 2020 season are currently not being accepted. The park's governing board will be reassessing the situation every two weeks. A public announcement will be made when the park begins accepting visitors again.

Virginia Highland Haven has not yet announced an opening date for members but has announced it is cancelling visitor reservations and will not be booking visitor reservations for the 2020 season. NTAC (North Texas Airstream Community) has also announced it is closing to visitors but will be open for members.

The last information from Top of Georgia is it is currently open for members and guests.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:37 PM   #3
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This does not sound like the Airstream family I joined 7 years ago.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:43 PM   #4
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Itís a scary situation, and these stay at home orders and closing non essential businesses puts a real kink in things.

Louisiana has some federal campgrounds that are open all year, might check in with them and see if they can put you up for a couple of months.

They are not fancy, but electric and water with access to a dump station would do you.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:50 PM   #5
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I grew up in New Orleans and LA is dealing with the most disrespectful residents to the coronvirus. This is not a solution for us.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:08 PM   #6
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It was just a thought.

The parks are not near NOLA, more in the upper part of the state.

Maybe store your trailer and stay with or near your son til this is over?

Maggie
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:14 PM   #7
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We will figure it out. It seems the private campgrounds are now our best friends.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:29 AM   #8
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We are off to Top of Georgia in a couple of days. So excited that we have a place to call home for a while.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:46 AM   #9
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The Airstream Parks group page on Facebook has the most recent announcements regarding the seasonal plans for the individual Airstream parks. TCPC is opening April 15, 2020 for members only. No non-member visits are permitted and reservations from non-members for the 2020 season are currently not being accepted. The park's governing board will be reassessing the situation every two weeks. A public announcement will be made when the park begins accepting visitors again.

Virginia Highland Haven has not yet announced an opening date for members but has announced it is cancelling visitor reservations and will not be booking visitor reservations for the 2020 season. NTAC (North Texas Airstream Community) has also announced it is closing to visitors but will be open for members.

The last information from Top of Georgia is it is currently open for members and guests.
VHH has not been very visitor friendly for at least a couple of years now. The members have not been freeing up as many spaces for visitors and using Reserve America has been a roll of the dice to find a space.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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badkat - I am on the Board of the Club that owns the Top of Georgia AS Park. We have canceled our April Rally, just as Region 3 has canceled their Rally and International has canceled theirs. However, we plan on some folks coming up during mid-April to do some "spring cleanup". Our pavilion will not be open, nor the bathrooms as we comply with the social distancing guidance. As most of you know, Top of Georgia is one of the most cost effective RV parks in the country! We have internet, TV, and full hookups for a very low price. One of the wonderful experiences we have in this all volunteer park is to meet new people as we do the spring cleanup and during our Rallys. Did I mention that you do not need reservations to stay at the ToP? Hope to see you soon! Please contact me if you have any additional questions.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:48 AM   #11
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Refuge

I just received an email from Willow Valley RV Resort in Rabun Gap GA that they are open for RVer's that want to "get away from it all". We stayed there about one month ago and found it to be very clean with level sites and near a nice small town with everything you would need. If you want to play golf, check Wanee Lake Golf & RV in Ashburn GA. We stayed there for one week recently, it's inexpensive and the golf course is very nice. Rates were very reasonable, and the nearby town has everything you would need.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:03 PM   #12
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and the nearby town has everything you would need.
Like ventilators and ICU beds?

Small towns on the Oregon coast have passed emergency measures to kick out all tourists because of the lack of health facilities.

Mike
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:01 PM   #13
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VHH has not been very visitor friendly for at least a couple of years now. The members have not been freeing up as many spaces for visitors and using Reserve America has been a roll of the dice to find a space.
Larry
Airstream parks are non-profit organizations owned by groups of individual stockholders who happen to be Airstreamers or by WBCCI units. The owners make a capital investment (purchase share of stock) to buy in, in some parks may also purchase improvements on their site, and pay annual dues for maintenance of the park. In addition they perform volunteer work to assist in the upkeep and administration of the park. In return they receive use of a site. Most parks make owner sites available for overnight stays when owners are not present on their assigned sites. Parks are visitor friendly in the sense they open their sites to non-member Airstreamers.

With respect to Highland Haven two things have occurred. First, there has been a significant generational turnover of sites over the past five years. The new stockholders are spending more time in the park and many are leaving their trailers on-site most of the season so they can come and go from the park. That is their prerogative since they have paid to buy into the park, are spending volunteer time maintaining the park, and are paying annual dues to cover their share of park expenses. Higher occupancy by stockholders in the past 3-5 years is reducing the number of available sites for rental by non-members.

Your statement the owners haven't been freeing up as many spaces for non-member visitors is inaccurate. The park has experienced significantly higher demand by non-members in recent years. The current boom in RV sales has resulted in more Airstream owners, which in turn has increased demand for overnight rentals at all Airstream parks, in addition to other campgrounds. Since I have been an owner at Highland Haven the number of overnight non-member visitor nights has more than doubled from less than 500 to over 1000. The truth is, Highland Haven is actually accommodating more non-member visitor nights despite higher occupancy of sites by stockholder members.

As to Highland Having using Reserve America for reservations, the increasing volume of reservation requests was overwhelming the volunteer hosts who were also trying to keep track of planned stockholder visits with a manual paper reservations system. Automating the allocation of available sites through a contracted online reservation system facilitates the accurate management of thousands of occupancy nights. By recording stockholder stays in the reservations system, and blocking out those nights, the automated system has better visibility of available nights for visitors than the hosts had with the old manual paper system.

Highland Haven remains a visitor friendly park, which is one reason the demand for sites by non-members is at an all time high. Comments on the park's Facebook page, as well as other social media sites, attests to the friendliness of the owners toward non-member guests. The long waiting list to purchase a share of stock is evidence of desire of many non-members to become owners when they experience the park.

The RV sales boom of the past few years has made it difficult to obtain reservations at the better campgrounds throughout the US and Canada. Fortunately Airstreamers who enjoy staying at specific Airstream parks do have the option of purchasing membership in the park and thereby being guaranteed a space whenever they wish to go.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:17 PM   #14
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All right Chuck, I will accept your position and facts at face value. However, as an Airstream owner who has camped there every year since I joined WBCCI, I can say that it has become more difficult to obtain a reservation, as a visitor. Before you went to Reserve America, it was downright unfriendly to obtain a reservation, now it is simply impersonal and a roll of the dice. Of course the site owners can do whatever they want, but our club has had some great rallies there and recent years have diminished that enjoyment because VHH can no longer block out sites for a rally. As a result, we cannot be accommodated as before. It is your park and you can manage it as you choose; it is still one of the most beautiful places to take an Airstream. However, it was not necessary to cancel visitors for the whole year...seems like an overreaction to me. I would wager that RV'ing will be back in swing by September(the date of our rally) and I had trips bookending the dates at VHH, which I have now had to cancel. Small potatoes compared to problems many are having today, but I just cannot let others believe that everything is grins and giggles at VHH.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:20 PM   #15
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Travelers Rest in Dade City FL was formerly an Airstream only park. It has always been a 55+ age restricted park that allowed visitors (as opposed to share owning members) to have space available parking, mainly on " golf view" sites. The maintenance manager told me today that no new guests were going to be.allowed in, effextive today.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:23 PM   #16
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We love being a part of the Airstream Family. It is our first rv and it is perfect for all of our adventures and is our home. To know they care about full-timers at Top of Georgia brings me to tears. We have stayed there by the creek about three times. Love the sound of the water. It does not matter what site we are in with social distancing. We know we will be with unit members that cared enough to give us a safe place through these strange times. Love you guys.
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #17
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This does not sound like the Airstream family I joined 7 years ago.
Decisions of many Airstream parks to close at this time have nothing to do with not being "family" or friendly. The Airstream parks are private non-profit social organizations, not private money making campgrounds. None of the Airstream parks wants to close to either members or non-members. Closure decisions are being made by the elected governing boards based on concerns about the safety of people camping in the park, direction by local government authorities, potential legal liability of the park if it does not take aggressive action to minimize risk in extraordinary times, and the preferences of the majority of stockholders.

Consider the park operations are managed by stockholder volunteers, not trained employees. These volunteers may not have the skills to take care of park visitors who succumb to a pandemic while in the park. Many parks are located in remote locations with limited medical care nearby.

No doubt governing boards are consulting attorneys as to the legal risks associated with being open to the general public during a national health emergency. Unfortunately we live in a highly litigious society and no park can afford a lawsuit.

You mention private parks are now your best friends. Airstream parks are private parks. Thousands of campground closures have been announced in recent weeks. Both public and private campgrounds are being closed in addition to hundreds of thousands of other businesses so the Airstream parks closing are not unique. This pandemic is a global healthcare crisis which is harming millions of people with economic ruin, debilitating illness, and even death. Hopefully the only inconvenience you will suffer during these troubling times is the struggle to find a campsite.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:08 PM   #18
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I understand what you are saying but to say my problem was to find a campsite is not exactly correct. We all want a place where we feel safe. There are thousands of other private campgrounds which we normally to do not stay at. We like COEs, Nat'l Parks and we have been to many AS parks. My hope is in these times we help each other. This is just the beginning unfortunately. There will be many of our fellow Americans who will need help. Pay it forward is something I hope we all embrace. So we have become a nation of I cannot help you cause you might sue me. These are sad times.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:49 PM   #19
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Larry,

Buy a membership in one of the Airstream parks and serve on the board for a year. Your perspective might change. Administering a volunteer run campground is much more difficult than it appears on the outside. Decisions that seem obvious when you aren't responsible for making them are much more difficult when you see all of the variables and are accountable for the outcome.

I'm not serving on the Highland Haven board this year so I didn't participate in the decision to close the park to visitors in 2020. My understanding is the board will be monitoring the situation and will reopen to visitors if events unfold favorably. It may be the board decided build its execution plan for the season around the worst case scenario, and hope for the best case, than disappoint visitors by cancelling reservations at the last minute. Having served on the board for two years, I'm not going to second guess their decisions. It is going to be a tough year to manage the park with some very hard choices to make. They have my support even if I'm not in agreement with every decision.

The Highland Haven board's decision to close to visitors was not unique. NTAC and TCPC also recently announced plans to close to visitors. Other Airstream park boards are wrestling with the decision to stay open or close and will be making announcements soon.

I do know from being an insider it has become more difficult for visitors to make a reservations at Highland Haven for the reasons I outlined in my first note. I can assure you the owners would prefer it be easier for visitors to obtain sites as they enjoy the camaraderie of visitors and don't like people to be disappointed. Almost all of the owners take great pride in the park and enjoy sharing it with the Airstream community. Short of expanding the number of sites in the park, or restricting the number of nights a stockholder can use her/his site, there isn't anything the park can easily do to increase capacity for visitors. Both options have been considered and rejected for a variety of reasons not worth covering here.

I won't comment further on the reservation experience other than to say I'm in agreement it is not optimal, nor was it before Reserve America. As to the restrictions on number of sites being available for a rally it is all about stockholder occupancy. When I joined the park, we could count on 20-25 sites being open at almost any time, so rallies could be accommodated with ease. At that time most stockholders came up for a week or two each year and were absent the rest of the season with their Airstreams. Today, a large number of newer stockholders live within a 2-3 hour drive of the park and leave their Airstreams on site most of the season. Based on the more recent usage patterns it is difficult to allocate more than 6-8 sites months in advance to a rally and be able to ensure stockholders can have their trailers on site at the times they desire.

Feel free to contact the Virginia Highland Haven board with your observations and suggestions. The owners take a lot of pride in the park and the board does consider the opinions of visitors as well as stockholders. The visitor experience is important. Almost every stockholder first experienced the park as visitors and recognize the future of the park depends on visitors enjoying the park and wanting to become stockholders.

I encourage you to check back periodically to see if the park opens up as the year progresses. I'm personally optimistic in 30-45 days the world view will be much better than it is today.

Happy camping wherever you go.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:33 PM   #20
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I understand what you are saying but to say my problem was to find a campsite is not exactly correct. We all want a place where we feel safe. There are thousands of other private campgrounds which we normally to do not stay at. We like COEs, Nat'l Parks and we have been to many AS parks. My hope is in these times we help each other. This is just the beginning unfortunately. There will be many of our fellow Americans who will need help. Pay it forward is something I hope we all embrace. So we have become a nation of I cannot help you cause you might sue me. These are sad times.
I'm glad you found a place where you feel safe at Top of Georgia. I've stayed there and I'm sure you'll enjoy being there.
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