We have a little confession to make. We had a seasonal camping site. And now we don’t.
On this week’s RVFTA podcast episode, we tell the whole story, from why we decided to start seasonal camping to why we decided to give up our site. At the very last minute. As in, just a couple of weeks ago.
We’ve created a lot of content on seasonal camping over the last few years. If you are interested in learning more about seasonal camping, make sure you check out our 101 episode with Jon and Heather Anderson. They did a great job at laying out all the perks, and gave great advice for finding a great campground fit.
So how did we go from interviewing other seasonal campers to becoming ones ourselves?
We tell the whole story (all the nitty-gritty details) in this episode.
Why We Decided to Become Seasonal Campers
The opportunity to rent a seasonal camping site snuck up on us rather unexpectedly. We were chatting with friends who had researched the price at one of our favorite camping resorts, Lake in Wood Campground in Narvon, Pennsylvania.
It wasn’t cheap…but it wasn’t ridiculous either. Not when you considered all the amenities for our family. We would be able to keep our RV on site year round, which would take care of any storage issues we had with the new Toy Hauler. Bathhouses are open and heated year round, so we would be able to do some fun camping weekends in the winter.
Plus, Lake in Wood has an indoor pool that opens on April 1st and closes on November 1st. For us, the idea of having that amenity during the spring and fall months was a big selling point.
There were some other reasons why the seasonal camping site seemed like a perfect solution for our family. Our kids are extremely dedicated to their sports, and though that’s a minor inconvenience for us, we are committed to supporting their passion. With a site at Lake in Wood, we could still head out to the campground after a Friday evening or Saturday morning game.
And then there was the marital tension regarding planning weekend trips.
We travel. A lot. We go on quite a few long RV adventures every year. Jeremy couldn’t help but try to cram in quick weekend getaways, and Stephanie would get frustrated with all the scheduling difficulties this caused. She really thought that the seasonal site had a good chance of eliminating the bickering about weekend trips.
The Reality of our Seasonal Camping Experience
We truly loved being seasonal campers at Lake in Wood last year. So much so that when the renewal slips came around in September, we didn’t even hesitate to write our deposit check for 2018.
In the spring of 2017, we got a ton of use out of the site. We would take off after work on Friday with just a duffel of clothes and a cooler of food. And we particularly loved staying late on Sunday, soaking up every minute of the weekend.
We also were able to use it as a great base camp for some of our RVFTA-related events. Lake in Wood is under an hour from Hershey and the Cabela’s Hamburg store. That means we were able to camp and attend RVFTA events at least four times in 2017.
But then the summer rolled around, and we pretty much hit the road like we always do. All told, we probably spent five nights at Lake in Wood for the entire summer season. There was certainly no lazy weeks of summer like we had imagined when we signed up.
Plus, it turned out that getting the RV in and out of our site was a complete nightmare that tested our marriage each time we headed out on a trip. And that’s not the way vacations are supposed to start, right?
Now, we knew perfectly well at the end of the 2017 season that we really hadn’t spent as much time at the seasonal campsite as we had hoped. However, the time we did spend there was fantastic, so we buried our heads in the sand and promised that next year would be different. We would be at the seasonal site all. the. time.
Why We Canceled our Seasonal Camping Site
So the 2018 camping season began with one complication after another. We had the RV at our dealer in South Jersey for some mods, and our situation was so convoluted that we couldn’t even figure out when we were going to get the RV to the seasonal site.
It was April, all three of our boys were in baseball, and our work schedules were packed. At one point, we realized that we could probably count on one hand the number of nights we would be able to get to Lake in Wood this Spring.
So the fights began.
Seriously. We fought for an entire week about the issue. The facts were right in front of our faces, but it was hard to pull the trigger and make the right decision. Ultimately the numbers won out. To pay almost $5,000 for a seasonal site and hardly use it is just plain tomfoolery. So we made the difficult decision and pulled out of the seasonal site.
The Biggest Lesson We Learned from Being Seasonal Campers
We do believe that seasonal camping is a pretty awesome set up. If you are in the right stage of your life. We now understand that it’s really hard to combine a seasonal camping site with a lot of RV travel. It’s probably best suited for folks who know they will not be doing any major RV travel during that camping season.
In this episode, Stephanie ended by saying that if money were no object, she would have a park model at a seasonal site and an RV in the driveway for longer vacations.
But money is an object. A pretty important one. So the seasonal site had to go. But it still has a bit of our hearts.
See you at the campground,
Stephanie + Jeremy
A great big thanks to Truma for sponsoring this special podcast episode of RV Family Travel Atlas. Truma, a global leader in comfort technology, brings “More Comfort on the Move” to North American RVers. The revolutionary, on demand Truma AquaGo can swap out any 6-16 gallon RV water heater and also comes standard on many new RV models. Visit www.truma.net to find a Truma Certified Dealer and upgrade your RV water heater.