What’s the fairest checkout time at an RV park?

Most RV parks ask you leave by 11 a.m, a few even 10 a.m. Occasionally you’ll come across an RV park that lets you stay until noon, maybe even 1 or 2 p.m.

It’s easy to understand a before-noon checkout time at a hotel, where the room needs to be cleaned and the beds made. But at an RV park? A vacated space is usually available a minute later for a new occupant. So why not let RVers sleep in and enjoy the morning by letting them stay a little longer?
What checkout time do you think is fair? 

The survey make take a few moments to load, so stand by.



29 Thoughts to “What’s the fairest checkout time at an RV park?”

  1. Chris

    When we camp within an hour of home we sometimes pay for an extra night so we can stay late and leave anytime. That way we aren’t rushed to get up early to pack up and leave. If we know we have to leave at an early check out we break camp down the night before so we can sleep in and leave right on time.

  2. Bill J

    The survey asked what is a “fair” checkout time, but should have included another question in the same survey – “what is a fair check-in time?” This would have forced voters, especially the late departers and the early arrivers, to consider the impact of their vote on others.

    By the way, I use Firefox, currently V58.0. Currently I have no trouble with loading the Surveys, but I have had problems in the past. Firefox seems to update every week, and I think some versions of Firefox have had problems.


  3. Stuart Syme

    Commenting here from the perspective of a host for the past three years at a small but busy seasonal (6 months a year) park.

    We set check-in/check-out officially at 11 am – and told everyone when they made their reservation.

    Most were gone by 9. Most arrived after 3.

    With check-in/check-out at 11 we set an expectation for those leaving that someone could be arriving just as they were leaving. That fact alone encouraged them to speak with us in advance if they had a need to delay their departure. We, in turn, had flexibility to grant an extension to an agreed upon hour based upon our knowledge of who was arriving and when.

    The key here is communication – as it so often is.

    I have to say that I recall only one or two incidents each year where an arrival had to wait a little while for the departing to leave.

    Nobody lost their cool.

  4. John Connaughton

    If all campers were decent human beings, site cleanup would not be an issue, save for things like trimming grass, etc. It is so amazing how lazy and rude a large percentage of Americans have become. To think it is perfectly fine to throw garbage wherever you feel like. What bugs me is campsites that are stringent on timeframe to let folks get into their site. Some of the checkin times are pretty late. To me, if you are camping and want to do activities, like hike, canoe/kayak etc. then a 3pm checkin is very late. That’s OK for someone just spending a nite enroute on a journey, but not a stay. Fortunately campgrounds real strict on checkin time are a small percentage. Most, if the site is vacant, don’t mind if you are early.

  5. Andy

    Chiming in with the other park owner, Judy, I’ll add that our check-out time is noon and check-in time is 1 p.m., which means our maintenance guys have just one hour to make sure every site is clean for the next arrival. At this time of year, that’s no problem–but come peak season, we can really be scrambling to ensure the best possible experience for our campers. Now add those campers who arrive at noon, or 11 a.m. or even 10 a.m. and want to know if they can get on their site early. . . . Sheesh.

  6. Jim

    My rig is over 10 years old so the nicer, more regulated, resorts don’t let me spend 50-75 dollars a night and suffer this problem. I end up at smaller parks that offer some flexibility if notified. But I always leave a spot cleaner than when I arrived. And I seldom leave before 9:30 am. Mostly, I aim for 9am and am lucky to leave by 10:30am. But in tourist mode, we only move about 100 miles give or take a few. In transit mode, I hope to do 300+ as I have beefed up the ride this year and it’s less exhausting. That’s when I dry camp and don’t hook up.

  7. John

    Chuck, for the past couple of weeks the surveys have not been loading in Firefox. The page opens, but the space under “The survey make take a few moments to load, so stand by” remains blank. It loads in Internet Explorer and Opera, so the problem is at your end, not mine.

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      John, I wonder if others are having a similar problem. I sometimes use Firefox and the surveys works fine. If anyone else is sharing your problem, I would love to learn about it. And, by the way, I also use Safari and Chrome, and the surveys work there. And FYI: Hardly any of our readers use Opera, and very few use Internet Explorer anymore.

      1. Wayne

        I use firefox and just had the same problem . page would not open.

        1. Glenn

          I use Firefox exclusively and have had no problems.

          1. Roger

            I’ve never had a problem with Firefox.

    2. Tommy Molnar

      I use Firefox exclusively and never have any problem – with ANY sites, and certainly not with the surveys here. The problem just may be on your end, John.

    3. TXdrawl

      We use Firefox and have never had any problems loading any surveys or videos from any site.

    4. Galeyn

      The surveys open fine in my Firefox. As a thought, you could check to make sure you’re allowing pop-ups.

  8. Dann Gravett

    Its just not clear to me why a facility I pay for should charge a fee for me to stay until 2pm. !! And, that’s especially true if its during the week, Monday through Thursday, for example. Additionally, if there is no reservation or check-in procedure, why is it so important to make up fees and charges?

  9. Katherine LaTouche

    We are starting to see more campgrounds offering a late departure charge, which we really like. If we want to have a working(or leisurely) morning and pay an extra $10 to stay until 2:00 p.m. then we can or perhaps decide that whatever is slowing us down will take longer and by 5:00, we are charged for another night. To us it just seems so civilized. Our favorite though was the campground in New Brunswick, CA where the owner said, “Leave when you’re ready. My life is too short to keep up with things like that!” He served Brunswick stew to us when we arrived for the night. It was a little piece of heaven.

  10. Steve

    Boondocking solves all of this.

  11. Ron

    We typically rise and shine around 8am. We like to have our coffee first and take the pup out for her morning ritual….then we start getting ready for travel. We too try to adhere to the 300 miles/3pm rule/club and more often than not, we are ready to travel no later than 11am. Sometimes things happen when getting ready so it’s nice to have a little buffer; hence, I voted for the 12 noon check out time. We NEVER drive at night, so depending upon how far we are going to the next stop, will usually determine when we plan to depart.

  12. Drew

    I hate to make generalizations but for the most part here in Ca. there is no site clean up before the next camper arrives. Cig butts in the bbq areas is the norm…same with the occasional dog poop, paper trash and other things. But sometimes…there’s good stuff too…like a nice set of channel locks, water flow restrictors, hose fittings, and once- a new bottle of Protect-All! I’m pretty used to all of this actually and most of the time I just clean it all up myself. Anyway, sorry about the diversion- I like a 1pm check out- I usually take time to flush the tanks which can take extra time. We are also late risers and like a leisurely approach to our departure. I can manage 11am but I have to start early in preparation. This means about 6:30 to 7am when I start storing things away. Now, if it’s an intermediate camping spot and we’re en route somewhere else- many of my departure items don’t need to be done and the job is a lot quicker.

  13. John Koenig

    I voted for 11:00 AM. The few times I’ve needed some additional time, I’ve simply asked at the office (I usually know by 9:00 AM if I’ll need more time). It doesn’t happen often and, I’ve never been turned down yet.

  14. Richard

    My wife and I serve as hosts at a Wisconsin State Park every September. Park policy is a 3 pm checkout. This time nearly always works just fine. We are usually able to check and clean each site after the departing guest leaves and before the new one arrives. If the arriving guests are early, we just visit with them and check the site as we do. We rarely have problems with a 3 pm checkout even though we are responsible for many sites spread out over a large area, larger than most commercial campgrounds.

  15. Jean Corsetti

    We’re part to of “300 miles or 3:00 PM Club” so we are on the road by 9:00 AM. When we pull in to a campground we want our site to be available and clean. I think any time after 10:00 AM is reasonable for check out and the campground needs to determine how long it takes to get sites ready for their next guests. I’ve seen check in times as early as noon and as late as 4:00 PM.

  16. Judy

    As a campground owner let me tell you the reality of checking in and out campers. If everyone adhered to the campground policies what you suggest would not be a problem and most do. But some think checkout time means start packing up instead of depart. Or “we saw other campers were still here so we didn’t think it was a problem.” How about the campers who trash the site requiring a cleanup beyond the norm? Most campers want to arrive at a clean site. Fire rings cleaned of trash and garbage (yes people think it’s OK to throw cans and bottles as well as their departing garbage in the fire rings. How about dog poop? Not everyone cleans up after their dog. Some sites need mowed and trimmed after a longer stay. Then there are the people who arrive early expecting their reserved site to be ready? We have multiple check ins and check outs on busy weekends and it’s a challenge to have everything ready for our guests. As campers as well we always read a campgrounds policies and follow the rules. Rules are made for a reason and we appreciate our campers who follow them.

    1. Terry

      I like the later checkout/earlier checkins , not vice versa. 12 noon is great, 11a Is doable most times. Unlike many fast food/ packaged-convenient food campers, we cook from scratch for our meals. And So much can be enjoyed for a few hours in the AM or PM in a camp. Doesn’t mean we won’t leave early or arrive late… left one park at 1am after hearing the red flag warnings and assessing the risk … meant we arrived at next stop at 8am, even though stopped several times and shopped and dined out. Traffic is a factor , as are road /weather conditions, and gas mileage from those factors as well as enjoyable v. Stressful trip. Just don’t blame the park if they cannot accommodate the early arrival — most will if able ,usually owner/operators or those with full time office hours– some only open the office at checking time (4p) , and are open 2 hours in AM for checkouts…
      planning is key!

    2. Terry

      We are rule followers as well. We just ask, and occas have to demand, that the camps enforce their own rules! People make plans based on the rules, then others who do not follow the rules make it bad for the majority who do

  17. Buzzelectric

    We pay for an extra day and get up when we want to. We are night owls that get up extremely late.

    1. Barbara O

      I do the same on check in times, pay for the night before so I can check in early.

  18. Curt L Coffee

    Its not so much the check out time as its the check in time at your next stop and I’m sure that it differs from person to person. I’m an early raiser so checking out is not the problem. I don’t drive in the dark so leaving between 7 or 8 am is the norm, but getting to the next place before noon sometimes is the problem. I’m headed now to 3 PM check in which is way late for me. I like to set up and enjoy before evening comes.

    1. Barbara O

      Hi Curt,
      I too am an early bird. I’m a camper as well as a host in WV State parks. The check out times for these parks are so the host can clean the sites for the next camper. If campers leave early I can clean them early and sites are available as soon as I notify the registration office it’s ready. On the other hand some campers check out late and cannot be done until after 1:00 pm. Weekends are a challenge with Friday night check in’s and almost 100% departures Sunday. I must make sure there isn’t a hot fire still burning. Put it out and get rid of the ashes. Commercial campgrounds have similar restraints with turn around times, although I’ve never worked one. While I share your sentiments as a camper, these are some reasons for the check in times. Happy Camping!

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