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Old 11-29-2022, 09:30 PM   #1
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PSA - A surprising reason not to pick a campsite near the bath house

Over Thanksgiving I was talking with our daughter, who is a 911 dispatcher in a small rural county near where we live. I told her how saddened and disbelieving I was that, on our last RV trip, a decorative banner she had given us as a gift last year had been stolen from our campsite.

Her first comment was, "was your site near the bath house?"

What? Yes, it was, right across from it.

Turns out they get a fair number of calls from campers whose items have been taken. Almost invariably their site is very close to the bath house. When deputies investigate further, and if they find the items, it is more often than not at a site of an unregistered camper know to local law enforcement to be among the county's homeless population.

Apparently, they use a nearby site as a parking spot while they use the facilities to shower and then often take whatever is ripe for taking at that site.

So word to the wise --- Don't choose a camp site near the bath house and don't leave anything on site while you are gone.

It is shocking to me that the world has come to this. Even though we've been home nearly a month, I still can't completely shake the feeling of having been violated.

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Old 11-29-2022, 09:55 PM   #2
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Find a better campground. Never had a problem and nothing has ever walked.
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Old 11-29-2022, 10:59 PM   #3
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Isolated incident...no reason for the other 999% of campers to avoid the convenience of camping near the bath house. It's great for people with kids. Personally, I don't like the foot traffic near bath houses or the noise all through the night. Sorry for your loss of the banner but I bet it never happens again...unless you go back to that same place. The campground owners know there is a problem and should be addressing it. Leave your report in the reviews for that campground...let it hit them in their pockets.
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Old 11-30-2022, 12:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RVwife View Post
Over Thanksgiving I was talking with our daughter, who is a 911 dispatcher in a small rural county near where we live. I told her how saddened and disbelieving I was that, on our last RV trip, a decorative banner she had given us as a gift last year had been stolen from our campsite....

I'm sorry you had this experience and believe it's not entirely uncommon. As suggested by others, I'd write a review of the park and include some mention of the theft (as well as typical review info about the facilities). While this might encourage some parks to up their games, many parks are largely unattended with staff. USFS parks, county parks and other small or rural parks are often entirely self-serve.

All that said, there's no reason to assume that a campground will be any safer than any other space and so best practices would suggest that you leave nothing unlocked.

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Find a better campground. Never had a problem and nothing has ever walked.
I've had propane tanks boosted at a high end park and think it's not necessarily the quality park, it's that there are dishonest folks lacking scruples and decency.
I lock my car at the grocery store, I lock my house when I leave and now, I lock my propane tanks to the frame of my trailer. The locks could be cut but the shiny aluminum tanks now take some work to steal and the locks increase the possibility that a thief would be seen in the act or cutting locks.

What's that old saying about every bike weighing 60 lbs? A 10 pound bike needs a 50lb lock, a 60lb bike needs no lock what so ever
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:12 AM   #5
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Question is... what would compel someone to live a lifestyle of sleeping in their car and "unregistered" showering in campground bath houses?
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:29 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your thoughts. This was a large state park campground in the Hudson Valley - North South Lake. It seemed quite nice and the ranger on duty was actually very helpful, driving around and talking to numerous other campers to learn if they had seen anything amiss. Alas, like so many parks, they were understaffed but still tried.

We do unfortunately keep things well locked up, but seriously, do you have to pick up a banner that has someone else's name on it and is of no use to you? I was just so sad. We left early.

My daughter's response was just an eye-opener in a direction I never expected. We live in an area of very mixed economic strata and, yes, it is disconcerting that anyone should be living in their car. That should not make them thieves or otherwise lacking in honesty.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:03 AM   #7
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It's generally a fact of life that the closer you camp to populated areas, the more likely you'll encounter this situation. One of our favorite boondocking areas was nearly overrun by "squatters" during COVID... and there aren't even bathhouses there. Fortunately it's been cleaned up and more strictly monitored.

Funny thing is that we feel safer in remote areas away from civilization. The reason we bought our motorhome is because it's essentially our self-contained motel room... We can go to remote quiet places and have everything we need. Our happy place is the middle of nowhere. The downside is it takes a while to get there!
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:06 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your thoughts. This was a large state park campground in the Hudson Valley - North South Lake. It seemed quite nice and the ranger on duty was actually very helpful, driving around and talking to numerous other campers to learn if they had seen anything amiss. Alas, like so many parks, they were understaffed but still tried.

We do unfortunately keep things well locked up, but seriously, do you have to pick up a banner that has someone else's name on it and is of no use to you? I was just so sad. We left early.

My daughter's response was just an eye-opener in a direction I never expected. We live in an area of very mixed economic strata and, yes, it is disconcerting that anyone should be living in their car. That should not make them thieves or otherwise lacking in honesty.
State and national parks are not secure or safe locations. Thatís where all the riff raff goes. Parks in some states are extremely bad.
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Old 11-30-2022, 04:45 AM   #9
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Well we get close to bath houses but for different reasons, we don't go in bath houses; like we don't go in public restrooms when we have our RV. When possible we look for a site that is not too close to next guy.

I want to add that I believe it was on this forum a while back where one RVer had his sewer hose stolen

I don't thief in the area will limit to just bathhouse proximity although let the Park Ranger tell you and they would say the majority of sites are reasonably close to a bath house.

We don't ever leave anything outside and we barely use sewer or water. Our Shore cord is locked in electrical bay while the other side is locked to the pedestal.

With all that said, we have never seen homeless or vagrants around a campsite. I think if I did, we would unplug SP and leave, just like we do when we see a large loose dog running free with RV owner that has that my dog is special.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:43 PM   #10
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as a source of entertainment, and security, we like using game cams for seeing what goes on around our home.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:54 PM   #11
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Been camping pretty much all my life and have never had an issue with campground theft. We do lock up especially valuable things, like the bikes, and don't leave the pizza cooker sit out, but that's about it for precautions.
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:48 AM   #12
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It could have been worse, here is thread where RV'ers sewer hose was stolen.

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f4...ste-14727.html

Won't help OP but maybe she can crack a smile
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Old 12-01-2022, 05:44 AM   #13
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I grew up in a camping family. My folks started hauling us kids off to campgrounds in the early 60's. Dad piled his us kids, mom and a dog in a 59 Ford station wagon with a wall tent on the roof rack darn near every weekend in the summer. Dad's vacation was camping in one of our National Parks. Dad & Mom planted that camping seed in us kids and 4 of the 5 of us are still at it to this day.
My point, in 60+ years of camping in State, Federal and Private campgrounds all over this great country of ours we have never had anything go missing. We have found that as group campers are some of nicest folks you will meet.
I feel bad the OP got their banner ripped off, but I suspect, judging by the item stolen it was teenage miscreants
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:36 PM   #14
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I grew up in a camping family. My folks started hauling us kids off to campgrounds in the early 60's. Dad piled his us kids, mom and a dog in a 59 Ford station wagon with a wall tent on the roof rack darn near every weekend in the summer. Dad's vacation was camping in one of our National Parks. Dad & Mom planted that camping seed in us kids and 4 of the 5 of us are still at it to this day.
My point, in 60+ years of camping in State, Federal and Private campgrounds all over this great country of ours we have never had anything go missing. We have found that as group campers are some of nicest folks you will meet.
I feel bad the OP got their banner ripped off, but I suspect, judging by the item stolen it was teenage miscreants
You know I never fixated on what was the "decorative banner", just that it was stolen, but for miscreants some things are just for the excitement. i.e. Somebody put a Texas A&M banner (or similar) nextdoor and one day on the way to the mailbox, it might get stuck on my fingers

Truth be told, when I 1st arrive to Camp Park even if with a reservation of a site, I wish to drive through and personally select or confirm the site. How much and type of outside gear is a factor for me for a site NOT to select.
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Old 12-01-2022, 04:28 PM   #15
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....cut....
I told her how saddened and disbelieving I was that, on our last RV trip, a decorative banner she had given us as a gift last year had been stolen from our campsite.
......cut....
Just curious if banner included any controversial content? Was wondering if it could have been removed for what it represented rather than taken for its value? Please understand Iím not trying to justify it in any way whatsoever.

Sadly, we live in a divisive environment filled with intolerant people at both extremes, and it doesnít take much to rub some the wrong way. I even stopped using spare tire cover with football logo for concern van may be vandalized by opposing fans. People donít respect property as they once did.

Anyway, just curious if banner could have offended someone with a short fuse?
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Old 12-01-2022, 05:24 PM   #16
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Ah yes, thank you to those who are sympathetic. The possibility that it was "teenage miscreants" is also high. The campers we encountered were all very nice and friendly people. Several came by to offer "condolences", shake their heads, or say they'd keep and eye out.

One gentleman said he had noticed how attractive the banner and its display (a couple of pumpkins) was when he entered the bathhouse to shower, perhaps minutes before the incident occurred. Offering some info, he prefaced it with "I hate to prejudge today's teenagers", but did note that when he returned there were several cars with young couples in vacant sites next to his. He found it odd they were not in school. (At 4 PM, that didn't strike me as off; school is out for the day by then.) Now if the kids had taken the pumpkins and thrown them in the lake, I would have accepted it for the childish stunt it was - few of us can claim pure innocence of a teen transgression or two. Put outright stealing someone else property (regardless of what it was) would have earned DH & I hard farm labor and the need to do restitution to the harmed. Our kids knew they would suffer the same. No, they weren't perfect, but the lessons were learned very early & quickly. We are very proud of the respecatble young adults they have become.)

As for being offensive, I hardly think so. The banner had our name and hometown on it, a cute little RV and the tongue in cheek saying "spending our children's' inheritance one trip at a time". Even our children aren't offended. Our daughter gave us the banner last Christmas and said "go have lots of fun; we'll be fine if you never leave us a dime". But who knows these days what is offensive to some coddled special snow flakes (young or old). (Note, said totally in jest: Well maybe someone from Ohio might not have liked us because we're from Michigan. I hold no malice toward them. I was born in Ohio, but they wouldn't know that and some take the "friendly" rivalry a bit too far, but come on, we were 1000 miles away, in NY state.)

Best I can do is shrug at this point. I'm still sad for the state of the world, but won't give up on RVing yet as the VAST majority of those we meet on our trips are truly nice, friendly people and we have enjoyed some absolutely wonderful conversations and trips; this "glitch aside, was one of those great adventures.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:28 PM   #17
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Wonder if your sign was run over and they took the evidence or threw it away...
I had a fellow camper run my sign over.....they denied it even though there truck tire marks let right to there truck.....
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Old 12-01-2022, 10:06 PM   #18
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It's gone...don't give up on the world and quit camping over it. There are crazy people in this world and they do stupid things (actions with no logic) regardless of how large or small it may be to others. Some people are just jealous...others trying to get back at society for their own failures...others, who knows. It's gone...life is short...move on. Your daughter will probably give you another one for Christmas.
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Old 12-02-2022, 12:20 PM   #19
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RVwife,

Your title is very frightening to me. You see my mind knows PSA as the acronym for Prostate Specific Antigen, a screening test for prostate cancer in men.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:03 PM   #20
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It's gone...don't give up on the world and quit camping over it. There are crazy people in this world and they do stupid things (actions with no logic) regardless of how large or small it may be to others. Some people are just jealous...others trying to get back at society for their own failures...others, who knows. It's gone...life is short...move on. Your daughter will probably give you another one for Christmas.

Very ice comment. And it was just a banner and not the whole RV!
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