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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Just experienced our first Non-refundable campground

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randot

Ellensburg, WA

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Posted: 08/12/21 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We finally had to face the sad facts and cancel our trip to Lake Almanor (burning up right now in the Dixie fire). I had made several reservations on the way to our final destination and had to start the process of cancelling those reservations. I came across a NO-REFUNDS policy at one of these campgrounds (credit card charged in full once reservation is made and no-refunds for any reason). Full disclosure, it does say this on the website when you make the reservation, but of course, at the time I had no reason to cancel. Also, just because it is in writing, that doesn’t negate the fact it is a crappy policy.
I understand a cancellation fee for late cancellations, but I cancelled this reservation more than three weeks out. Obviously, we all know that the campground will be able to re-book this site and not be out any money – did I mention it was for Labor Day weekend? I would really rather donate $100 to a firefighter charity than just let this campground take it.
Has anyone else run across such a crappy policy?


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mockturtle

AZ

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Posted: 08/12/21 08:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At least give them a negative review on one or more of the RV campground review sites. Under the circumstances, it would be reasonable to expect a refund.


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QCMan

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Posted: 08/12/21 08:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You made a reservation knowing there would be no refunds if you had to cancel and now you are upset because you had to cancel and will not get a refund. I guess you would expect your mortgage company to give you a free month if you were on the road for a month because the mortgage agreement said owner occupied and you didn't occupy it that month. If you do not like no refund policies that some campgrounds have do not make reservations in them and you will never be upset again.


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Lantley

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Posted: 08/12/21 08:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

QCMan wrote:

You made a reservation knowing there would be no refunds if you had to cancel and now you are upset because you had to cancel and will not get a refund. I guess you would expect your mortgage company to give you a free month if you were on the road for a month because the mortgage agreement said owner occupied and you didn't occupy it that month. If you do not like no refund policies that some campgrounds have do not make reservations in them and you will never be upset again.

I get your point, but a wild fire (if that's the reason is basically n act of God and the OP should not be penalized 3 weeks out.
I made non refunadable resrvation with Southwest and had to cancel due to Covid shut down. Colleges shut down eliminating the need to travel/fly. Southwest did not give me a refund which I still feel is outrageous. I get it the policy is posted but some things are beyond your control.
A wild fire or Covid are publically known issues and worthy of some consideration very different than the dog ate my homework or my grandmother died!


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#1Flyboy

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Posted: 08/12/21 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

…. You never know what tomorrow will bring, we don’t make reservations for campgrounds BUT we are prepared to spend the night impromptu. 5 years on the road FT… Yes it’s a terrible policy & I think I’d post on GOOGLE & all the campgrounds websites I could find…

Walaby

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Posted: 08/12/21 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since the campground that had the no refund policy was not directly affected by the wildfire, I don't think the act of god excuse is valid.

Granted, the reason he had the reservation was because he was stopping overnight on the way and now did not have a reason to keep his reservation. I don't see that as the campgrounds issue.

I have made reservations with a no refund policy. Knew it up front, decided the risk was worth it, and I have had to cancel before. Usually, the campground will let you change for a date in the future. At least the one in Florida that I had to cancel at the last minute allowed me to transfer reservation to same time the next year. Suppose you could try that route.

What's the negative review going to say? Campground has a no refund policy and they wouldn't give me my money back when I canceled? If I read a review like that, I'd chalk it up to sour grapes and it wouldn't affect my decision one bit.

It would be nice if they made an exception, but since their policy is pretty clear, and you knew it, I guess it is what it is.

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toedtoes

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Posted: 08/12/21 09:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to agree. You knew their policy going in. You accepted that policy by making the reservation. It's tacky to now complain because they didn't waive the policy for YOU.


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rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 08/12/21 10:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

I get your point, but a wild fire (if that's the reason is basically n act of God and the OP should not be penalized 3 weeks out.


You might feel differently if you were sitting on the other side of the reservation desk -- the Dixie fire has been burning for a month during the summer peak camping season (and will probably be on fire for at least a couple more weeks), so that's over 1/3 of their peak season affected by wildfires - many parks earn 75% or more of their annual revenue in those 3 summer months. Meanwhile, they still have to pay mortgage, salaries, insurance, etc. Few people get rich from running an RV campground.

Lantley wrote:

I made non refundable reservation with Southwest and had to cancel due to Covid shut down. Colleges shut down eliminating the need to travel/fly. Southwest did not give me a refund which I still feel is outrageous.


And Southwest got billions of dollars from taxpayers in COVID aid yet still wouldn't refund your trip, how much do you think a campground that's not even damaged from the fires will get in wildfire aid?

Lantley wrote:

I get it the policy is posted but some things are beyond your control.


And also beyond the control of the campground.

Lantley wrote:

A wild fire or Covid are publically known issues and worthy of some consideration very different than the dog ate my homework or my grandmother died!


He may have gotten an exception if it was any other time and his grandmother died, but the campground may not be able to afford to give refunds to everyone that wants to cancel due to the wildfires. I had to cut a trip short once at a "no-refund" campground, when I let them know I was leaving early due to a family emergency and didn't expect a refund, they gave me a refund anyway. But if half their campers tried to cancel that week, it probably would have been a different story.

toedtoes

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Posted: 08/12/21 10:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the campground were in the vicinity of the wildfires, then I would agree.

But the campground is not. It is somewhere between the OP's home and Lake Amanor. There may be only one or two people with reservations at that campground affected by the Dixie fire. And staying at this campground is not affected in any way by the fire (eg, he isn't going to be subjected to smoke).

So the cancellation is due to the OP's personal circumstances just like if someone died, etc.

Had his destination been anywhere else, he wouldn't have needed to cancel. And his not going to Lake Amanor doesn't affect his ability to stay at this campground - it just makes it unnecessary for HIM.

time2roll

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Posted: 08/12/21 10:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the campground is open and usable you may as well go that far and enjoy the stay. Maybe it is nice and stay a few extra days and make it your destination.

Works the same for your non-refundable flight to the non-refundable hotel to utilize the non-refundable excursions.

If you want the option of a refund, that should have been part of the original booking and very often comes at a higher price.

Otherwise look into some travel insurance to cover these costs.

* This post was edited 08/12/21 11:16pm by time2roll *


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