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Advice given to our county run campground - waste of time


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I was talking to the county's new campground King about some of the improvements he had planned for Shady Grove Campground in GA.  The year was 2016.

After submitting suggestions (that he told me to submit) I received feedback that was quite snarky (how dare a citizen who uses the campground offer any suggestions, or criticism).  No feedback to me directly, but through someone I know at the County.  The topic was a failed and neglected sanitary station - the only one in the whole campground.  The county has the money, so that was not the issue. 


Message starts here . . .

I became aware of improvements scheduled for this year and was asked to provide my input for suggestions.


ENTRANCE (Main Entrance at gate)

  1. Getting in and out of the entrance is difficult for full-sized rigs.  The normal height for a motorhome is 12’10” (but up to 13’4”) and the width is 8’6” plus the mirrors.  The length can exceed 45 ft.  If any changes are made in this area, please widen the drive to a minimum of 12 feet, and check the swing of longer wheel bases (my 42 ft. has a wheel base of 176”, some go up to 302”).  Some chassis can swing up to 3.5 ft. so trees and brush have to be cleared to accommodate that far from any curved pavement.



  1. I know you are already addressing the failed sewerage system.  As far as the actual facility, there are a few issues remaining.  Again, larger rigs have a tight squeeze to get in the driveway.  The driveway is not wide enough to allow a longer unit to stay on the pavement resulting in tire tracks in the dirt and the mud that goes with that.  This applies not only to motorhomes, but 5th wheel trailers as well.  Trees can be a hazard when navigating this area and should be trimmed back 10 feet from the driveway. 
  2. The pavement currently is pitched away from the septic tank inlet, resulting in raw sewerage running out on the driveway, as evidenced by toilet paper still on the driveway.  There is no good way to get it back down the inlet, even when rinsed with the hose.  If I were designing this from scratch, first I would make the concrete for the inlet 6’ x 6’ and I would make a 6” curb around all four sides, and pitch the concrete toward the center where the tank inlet is with at least a 2” drop.  I would make the driveway pavement pitch slightly toward the inlet to help the holding tanks drain more completely (rig leans toward the drain).  The driveway would be even with the top of the curb around the sewer inlet.
  3. Currently there is a fixture with a spring and hose that has been damaged from usage and time.  It is too close to the driveway which makes it difficult to maneuver when setting up the sewer hoses and opening the doors to the wet bay.  I would bring it back 4 feet from the edge of the driveway/curb.  Then I would provide both the spring and hose as it is now with a permanent spray attachment.  This was a good design when it was new.  I would add another 20 foot hose with the end terminated in a male standard hose fitting for flushing tanks on modern rigs.  Don’t forget the back-flow preventers.  I would be emphatic with a sign in the area stating that any water available in the dump station is NOT for drinking.  Move the trash can intended for disposal of gloves and wipes back to allow better access to the facility and to not block the area.

End . . . 

It makes me wonder what the attitude towards the public is across the country.  I hope this county is the exception.

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25 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

The county has the money, so that was not the issue.

The county (or state or federal or private owner ALWAYS has the money.  It's just a matter of priorities.

Trip Advisor has 9 reviews with most being positive.  One, from 2016, talked about a failed septic system.  Also rated # 2 of 4 campgrounds in Cumming GA.  If this campground is bad I can't imagine # 3 and # 4. 


There's a lot of "shoulds" in your letter, sort of demanding IMO.  Letter writing is a skill (I'm not good at sugar coating things).  Maybe could have been written with a team or other approach.  Being a local resident or passing through probably makes a difference, too.  Just sayin. 

Lastly, "we" Class A's (and large 5th wheels) are in the minority when it comes to county / state / federal campgrounds.  "We" aren't their primary customer.  I see a lot more towables, pop-ups and even tents than I see Class A's.  Frequently we have the biggest RV in the camp (38 no tag). 

If you really want to be grossed out try dumping your black tank at some of the I-75 N rest areas.  Not well designed (pipe not recessed, traces of effluent, water not turned on, etc.).  I stopped at 3 before giving up.  There are some good ones but not these. 

The best way to get change is to get masses of people making inputs.  Squeaky wheel and all that. 

Not trying to pick on you or your approach.  Just observations and MHO.

- bob


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thartIf I read your post correctly you were asked to provide comment. If so, I find it very that for the requesting party to, once you have provided what appears to be a well thought out and coherent recommendation, respond negatively.

It is unfortunate that many in "public service" (those who work for the government, be in local, county, state or federal) are too often bureaucrats who care more about them selves than doing what is an improvement for the public. Likely you have heard or seen the joke(meme) that probably goes back as far as maybe WWII if not further, of the swing as conceived by the inventor, drafted by the architect, designed by the engineer and built by the carpenter; the end result in no way resembling the original idea.

If thought was given all the way through the process things would often be less expensive and more user friendly in the end. Unfortunately this is one the major difference between what is produced by private enterprise vs the government.

Attached is a gif of a similar meme for those who do not know what I am referring to:

no bodies perfect.gif

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SteveC:  I never received feedback from the King.  One of the other employees told me that I was criticized for my suggestions in passing.  My impression is that the King asked me to submit any suggestions in order to put me off.  He must have already had a design in mind.  I'm sure that with his vast experience my petty ideas were of no consequence.

TimAZ is correct about the attitude of government with regards to listening to and doing the will of the people it serves.  This is the biggest problem we have going right now with the gov.

Bob:  This park probably has 25% big rig occupancy or more if you include 5thers.  The park was built in the 60's and needed updates for years and this guy finally looked like he might do something.  It is the only County managed park on this side of the lake and is a money maker.  Typical of government, the septic field had to completely fail before anyone paid attention.  I am a firm believer of "plan, then execute" instead of "panic, draw from the hip".  We as locals spent more time than most for a couple years in this park so we became quite familiar with its issues.

Since I was asked to present suggestions in a letter, I submitted them as you read.  However, maybe I should have dropped the engineering approach.  

Chuck:  Back in the 60s most camping was done in tents.  This park was remodeled a few years back, spending a lot of money (millions) but whoever designed the work missed a few things especially in predicting how these sites were to be occupied by larger land yachts.  The second half of the park was set up for tents and smaller trailers but was seldom full.  Back then they were planning upgrades for these sites.  I will have to go back and see what they have done, as it has been 5 years now.

1NOLAguy:  Don't know the inner workings of the process at the county, nor the corp. of engineers.  They keep that a secret.

I'm over it, just thought I would start a discussion.

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I also shake my head and ask ‘what were they thinking’?

Here is a photo taken on Monday of our site at Valley of Fires, NM. It is a NP booked via recreation.gov

Few sites are level and the layout, as in some other campground as you had mentioned, was designed by a baboon. Look at which side the water and power is located relative to the ‘industry accepted’ location on RVs. The power pedestal was so far forward, the camp host allowed us to park on the gravel.

Thanks for venting ….


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Yes, unless you have a rear window, the view is better from the front.  Utilities would then be on the driver side if you pulled into the site instead of backing in.

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