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What would you do?

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Old 03-11-08, 08:58 PM
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PurpleK
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What would you do?

I'm going to describe a situation I found myself in last year while on a solo tour. I'm wondering how some of you would have addressed it. I'll post what I did later so as not to influence your views.

You arrive at a state park campground late in the afternoon on the Saturday of a long holiday weekend. The campground offers two types of campsites, sites without electric hookups for $12 and sites with electricity for $18. The campsites are identical and intermingled except the electric ones have small hookups for plugging in a RV or some other unit that requires electricity, whereas the others do not have electric hookups.

Patrolling the campground, you discover that there is only one site available. It is an electric site located far from the campground bathhouse. It is too late in the day to head for the next campground, and stealth camping is not an option. Payment of the campground fee is on an honor system where you place the appropriate fee in a locked box.

Do you
A) Pay the full $18 for the electric hookup site, even though you are tent camping, will not use the electricity and the only reason you are using that site is because there are no others available, or

B) Pay the $12 fee for nonelectric sites, based on the premise that you are a tent camper, will not use the electric hookup and this is the only site in the campground available to accommodate you.

What would you do?
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Old 03-11-08, 09:29 PM
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I think a surprising amount of people (possibly the majority?) would go with option C: don't pay. The park where i go mountain biking has an honor system for the entry fee at the car entrance. Everyone drives right on past. On a semi-related note, I read that the amount of toothpaste sold in the US would increase 3 fold if everyone brushed their teeth as much as they claim to.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh View Post
I think a surprising amount of people (possibly the majority?) would go with option C: don't pay.
Which is really too bad because that's theft.


---------------


To the OP, personally, I'd be very tempted to pay the full price.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:31 PM
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Pay the $18 and be glad I was able to get a campsite without worries. I always pay and think it sucks when people don't.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:36 PM
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Option D : Pack a toaster in case this happens so you can justify the extra 6 bucks.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaodidi View Post
Option D : Pack a toaster in case this happens so you can justify the extra 6 bucks.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:19 PM
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Pay the full 18. When me and my daughter go camping in a National Forest at an established site with a fee, we always put the money in that envelope and drop it in the box.

I love stealth camping but most federal and states parks prohibit it and it can lead to a big fine if caught.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:29 PM
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what about the yet to be released bike tourist's microwave oven?
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Old 03-11-08, 11:32 PM
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If you take the last site, and it has an electric hookup, the campground cannot rent that site to someone who needs an electric hookup. Looking at it that way, you owe the $18.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:36 PM
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Pay the 18$ and charge my phone and AA bataries that power up everything else I use like camera, head-lamp etc,.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:54 PM
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12. Its an honour system. You used a 12 dollar lot (because the 6 dollars comes with electricity), and thats all you should pay.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:28 AM
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becnal
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B. 12 bucks.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:41 AM
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Scout the campground for obliging fellow campers and see if they would be prepared to have another tent on their site. Then maybe pay a split fee. That way it is a win-win situation for everyone -- the campground gets to still rent out a powered site for $18 and the other campers and you get a half-price deal.

But... knowing my luck, there would be some crowd move into the vacant campsite, do the hook-up, make a racket all night, and not pay the fee anyway.

Otherwise, reluctantly, pay the $18 fee. Oh, and if you have a cell phone, a call to the campground managers (assuming there is a number listed) might negotiate an honest reduction in the fee.

Most campgrounds in North America that I have seen in NPs and forest areas usually have vacant space around the convenience blocks or somesuch, and that might provide another solution, by pitching a tent there, and paying the $12 fee. I always found it a bit odd to see a tiny tent pitched on a full-size RV pad.
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Old 03-12-08, 04:00 AM
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I'd pay $12 because I should only pay for the services that I am using. It's not my fault that the seller has run out of the product that I wanted. Let me put it to those who are willing to pay $18 in another way. Suppose you reserve an economy seat for an airline flight and you arrive at the airport to find that they've overbooked. They do, though, have first-class seats available for several hundred dollars more. Would you be willing to pay for the upgrade or would you expect the airline to provide it to you for no charge? Let's put another twist to that...the airline offers it to you ahead of another potential passenger who is willing to pay full fare for the first-class seat. Will you insist on getting that remaining seat for free or will you pay the difference?
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Old 03-12-08, 04:48 AM
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Pay the $18, you are using the site so no one else can .

I don't get the rationale for paying $12. If you are going to cheat them out of $6 you might as well cheat them out of the whole $18.
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Old 03-12-08, 04:50 AM
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The question I have is what would you have done if all the sites were taken?

1. Leave and stealth camp outside the park.

2. Find a non-official spot in the park and set-up camp. But then what do you pay??
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Old 03-12-08, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Most campgrounds ...have vacant space around the convenience blocks or somesuch, and that might provide another solution, by pitching a tent there, and paying the $12 fee. I always found it a bit odd to see a tiny tent pitched on a full-size RV pad.
I like this idea, especially if there were a situation where only the more expensive RV lots are available. The manager may also agree to this idea, since it may mean extra dollars for them.
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Old 03-12-08, 05:50 AM
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Hi,

I would ask another camper if I could join their site. So it's cheaper for me (shared price) and the last site is still available for somebody else.

If I take that site I would pay 12 USD or 10 USD or 15 USD. The problem with that self registration campgrounds is that I normally don't have the exact cash in my wallet (and I don't know before how much it is).

Thomas
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Old 03-12-08, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by xilios View Post
Pay the 18$ and charge my phone and AA batteries that power up everything else I use like camera, head-lamp etc,.
+1
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Old 03-12-08, 06:09 AM
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I'd say pay the $18.

A question for the people who say just pay $12 since you probably don't use any electricity: if you rented a summer house with 2 bedrooms but only used one bedroom, would you expect to only pay half? To me it's simple: the price of the site is $18, and it sounds like it is clearly stated as such (e.g. not "$12 if you don't use electricity"). Whether or not you use the electricity is beside the point -THE PRICE IS $18.

If you choose not to pay, then you are not using the honour system, and ergo are not "honourable". You'll be $18 better off financially, just not morally; it's up to you.
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Old 03-12-08, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnyW View Post
The problem with that self registration campgrounds is that I normally don't have the exact cash in my wallet (and I don't know before how much it is).
I usually use a check for registration in self registration sites. It is usually the only thing that I still use checks for, but it avoids the need to have the correct denominations of cash.

We did run into a park in Missouri (a National Scenic Waterway I think) that had a policy of not accepting checks. I had no cash in anything close to the right denomination and there were no envelopes at the registration box. We debated over dropping in a check without an envelope despite the no checks policy, stiffing them since they didn't have envelopes available, or mailing them a check later. I ran into a ranger who had some envelopes and he said to just write a check and not worry about the no checks policy (he was unable to break a $20 so we could pay the $12 with correct change).
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Old 03-12-08, 07:36 AM
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I would pay the $18.
The problem I have with the analogy below? It doesn't appear that the original poster had reservations. If he had reserved and been guaranteed a campsite (coach ticket) then it is an entirely different situation. If I sell hot dogs and steaks, but run out of hot dogs, should I give you steak at the hot dog price???


Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
I'd pay $12 because I should only pay for the services that I am using. It's not my fault that the seller has run out of the product that I wanted. Let me put it to those who are willing to pay $18 in another way. Suppose you reserve an economy seat for an airline flight and you arrive at the airport to find that they've overbooked. They do, though, have first-class seats available for several hundred dollars more. Would you be willing to pay for the upgrade or would you expect the airline to provide it to you for no charge? Let's put another twist to that...the airline offers it to you ahead of another potential passenger who is willing to pay full fare for the first-class seat. Will you insist on getting that remaining seat for free or will you pay the difference?
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Old 03-12-08, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
I'd pay $12 because I should only pay for the services that I am using. It's not my fault that the seller has run out of the product that I wanted. Let me put it to those who are willing to pay $18 in another way. Suppose you reserve an economy seat for an airline flight and you arrive at the airport to find that they've overbooked. They do, though, have first-class seats available for several hundred dollars more. Would you be willing to pay for the upgrade or would you expect the airline to provide it to you for no charge? Let's put another twist to that...the airline offers it to you ahead of another potential passenger who is willing to pay full fare for the first-class seat. Will you insist on getting that remaining seat for free or will you pay the difference?
Sorry, but this is a bad analogy. In the airline case, they overbooked after making a promise to you for the lower price. In the campground case you had no reservation, no promise for $12, yet you still want to occupy their $18 spot. Paying only $12 is theft.
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Old 03-12-08, 07:54 AM
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I would put in $18, which could be construed as either I paid the full fee, or I payed the $12 fee and voluntarily donated an extra $6 to the park as a goodwill gesture.
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Old 03-12-08, 08:56 AM
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I have been in a similar situation.

I stayed to a California State Park campground that offered hiker/biker sites. It was out of season (November) and the place was deserted. As is often the case, the hiker/biker site was off to the side in some weedy area. I paid for a hiker/biker site (in this place, I paid before I saw the site) and then actually camped in a full fee site next to a bathroom.

In the morning, the camp manager came up and demanded the full fee. I argued that the place was empty, that I hadn't used any more services than I would have at the hiker/biker site, and that it was simply more convenient to be next to the bathroom than 100 yards away. She didn't like it, but eventually said OK but the "next time I was use the site set aside for hiker/bikers or pay the full fee." I agreed.

I realize this is not the same as listed above and don't think I did anything wrong. I don't see hiker/biker sites as cheap sites due to inferiority location. I see them as a way to encourage people to not use cars. What's more, does it really matter where one pitches a tent in an empty campground?

Would others have done different?

Ray
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