Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Vacation part 11 ( having to go home early--URGHH!!!)

We were having a wonderful time at the Nashville KOA.  Really great.  Fantastic people & nice place.  Okay, to go back a bit.  We are apparently, a bit unusual when it comes to the camping world.  I mean truly, who would camp with 13 people, right?  We would.  So, I ALWAYS call and speak to a human being when reserving any campground simply due to the sheer # of us & also our camping set up.  I always tell them, it is an RV AND a tent on the same site.  We don't mind paying extra for a bigger site as some places require that.  Fine. 

So, booked Nashville months ago.  Person on the phone said their regular sites aren't all that big but would we care to pay more for the deluxe sites as they could house a tent and an RV.  This is Nashville (touristy) folks so I knew it would be quite a bit more.  Still way, way cheaper than a hotel so I booked it.  Paid a deposit of $70 something and paid the rest later when I got there.  I do believe it was $210 or something around there for all 3 nights. 

First night set up.  Actually, early in the afternoon.  Met people around us, chatted, etc.  Also, many KOA staff had come by. Waved.  No one said a word day one.  Day two same exact thing.  In fact, we were there all day.  Well, all of a sudden Bojan comes to us and says the campground people said we can't have the tent on the site, we must move.  Clearly, there was some mistake.  I mean shoot, it was 7 something at night at this point.  We go into the office.  KOA staff said we have to take down the tent as it is considered a safety hazard.  Afraid someone will mow the kids down in the middle of the night.  If they did, truly they shouldn't be driving an RV in the first place!  Hellooo, it's a campground folks.  They have like 5mph speed limits.  Tent was off the road and far enough up.  We said fine, how do we resolve this problem.  They said they could move the tent...across the campgrounds.  Umm, no folks, not an option w/ our kids.  Explained to them some of them are special needs and being away from our parental guidance is NOT an option. In addition, the RV sites have electric and we can use the fan in the tent to keep them cool and bugs at bay.  Called manager.  He said there was another location we could see from our RV. Well, yes...sort of.  Right near the dumpster, construction material & no hookups whatsoever.  Again, not an option.  They said there was nothing they could do.  I called Jellystone Campgrounds but it is summer time peak season.  They had something that could possibly house us but too expensive.  I'd already paid KOA remember.  At this late in the game, we had no choice but to pack up and leave.  Went to tell the office people. Office closed at 8pm.  URGHH!!!  Thought about staying that night too but we had already unhooked everything, empty tanks, etc. and were told we HAD to leave so did. 

So, at 9:30pm at night, we hit the road for a 12 hour drive home in the middle of the night.  KOA did not refund the money.  Don't worry, writing to corporate tomorrow.  We paid the money for the site months in advance.  They knew our set up.  Had NO trouble at any other KOA's we stayed at during our trip.  We left the office a note taped to the door that evening.  They never called us to apologize nor did they refund the money for the 2 nights we did not stay there.  And remember, these are now kids that knew they were missing out on touring the Parthenon and the water park.   And dealing w/ FAS kids who go by routine and calenders of what we're doing each and every day.  Nik is also autistic and he just fell apart.  Not to mention we were emotionally spent knowing House guest was coming back but could not tell anyone.  I was proud the kids took it in stride and made a promise to indeed go to a water park at some point this summer. 

I think KOA handled the whole thing wrong.  Reason being, we saw plenty of other non-deluxe sites available side by side.  Give us two of those sites, we would have paid the difference.  Actually, would have been a wash b/c the deluxe sites were double the regular sites.  So about even.  We would have had no trouble moving the RV and tent to another site at the campground.  We passed a few on our way out.  And truly rarely anyone comes in the middle of the night to a campground w/these huge things b/c you have to have some light to set them up.  Trust me, doing it by flashlight is a royal pain in the butt.  Lesson learned!  LOL.  But, the Nashville KOA has not responded whatsoever to the letter we left them nor the entire situation.  If it was truly a safety hazard, how come you didn't tell us that the entire two days you saw us there?!  Just doesn't make sense. 

It was a very, very hard trip home.  And then we had to prepare the kids to tell them house guest was returning home.  Again, we've almost always stayed at KOA's.  I hate for one bad apple to spoil the bunch and won't let it.  I just think KOA should do something.  Shoot, at least give us our money back for the time we did not stay there!  So, writing my letter tomorrow.  Any suggestions for wording, send them my way.  Hope they choose to do the right thing.  Time will tell and will most definitely let you know what the Nashville KOA decides to do.

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