Monday, October 31, 2011

Wauchula TT Campground - the Dark Side

Yes, the Dark Side of going to the TT campground in Wauchula.

You see, we went there in November of '09 for three weeks, and had a great time.  We had just left VA and our kids, and drove down to this CG and stayed for 3-weeks.

The CG was not very crowded. and we were able to relax and go into a Zen mode.  By that I mean, we were able to slow our BP down, drop into a healthy eating regimen, and truly relax.

Within two days we were walking several miles before lunch, reading and writing in the afternoon, exercising in the heated Pool and Jacuczzi before dark, and talking over a couple of glasses of wine and a light dinner each night.  There is nothing to do in Wauchula, but we really did not care.

We were Chillin'and enjoying it!

Well, it turns out that the peak season at CG's in FL is Jan thru Mar, and we finally ended back at Wauchula for the last two weeks in February.

What a difference.

It turns out that the campground has approximately 200 campsites that are on higher ground, and all of them have full service.  That means water, sewer and electric connections.

It also turns out that the CG has 200 sites, that are in the flood plain, down next to the river, that have only water and electric connections.

What this means is that when you call for a reservation, you end up playing the "Mud Hole Lottery"for several days.

Let me explain;

They overbook the full hookup sites, from what I can calculate, by about 30%.

So, when you check in, they send you down to the Mud Hole, where you can park without sewer hookup and play the lottery for a site with full hookup.

Now, this is not so bad normally, but the "lower-200" is a flood plain, and it had rained for several days of the past week before we checked in.

So, when we pulled in, we were handed a piece of paper that stated that they (TT) "were not responsible if you got stuck in the mud, and had to be towed out."  Then I was told to "pick a spot, down there, that was not too muddy!"

I was given another piece of paper that explained the lottery; and senton my way down the hill.

Simply stated, it said that when I checked in, my name was put on a list, and each morning at noon, a list of available sites were posted that had opened up when people checked out that morning.

I was my responsibility, to go around and look at the sites and decide which ones my RV would fit into.

Then at 1-O'clock the Lottery would occur.

The Lottery meant that they would go down the list of people that had checked in and call out names in the order of check-in.

When your name was called, you had to pick one of the remaining sites, or pass.  To pass meant that you dropped to the bottom of the list for one more round of calls, and if you did not pick a site then, you were permanently in the Mud Hole.

If your name was called, you had a choice of what was oped up and not picked by others ahead of you that day.   Good or Bad!

What this did was turn a lot of very civilized retirees into overwrought and over-stressed couples who had no feeling of control of where they would camp.  In the trees, In a wooded area, In the Open, In the Mud? Good Satellite, No Satellite, Good TV, No TV? All a mystery.

T make things worse, the list of people was long enough that it took from 3 to 4 days before you were even called for site.

Take the typical member who, at this time of the year has a maximum of 2 weeks and for many, only 1 week of member stay reserved, the lottery only added a new level of stress.

It took 3 days before we were called, and I got a pretty good site, but one thing I did notice. The charm and relaxed atmosphere was shattered by this Lottery.

Whether you wanted to or not, you got pulled into the new attitude of "Hurry", followed by a feeling that you had just been screwed by someone.

Add the colder weather, and overtaxed support system at the CG, and it was just not the same CG we enjoyed back in November.

I, personally will try to avoid the "Wauchula-TT-CG Mud-Hole Lottery" next year.  It is like staying in a different world during the Jan-Mar period. And one day ..... TT itself, and the Wauchula site specifically, will suffer for this Lottery of theirs that denigrates the whole meaning of TT and Resort camping, itself.

Well ..... Have a nice Day!

Don and Helen