Davis Monthan AFB FamCamp Featured
October 2015 - April 2016
(Updated: June 26, 2016)
I'll start out by saying I think Davis-Monthan FamCamp is one of the best military campgrounds. It was under the old management and it still is under the new management. Most of what makes it great is the location, the weather, the overall upkeep, and particularly under the OLD management, the fairness of it. I've been traveling for 10 years and been coming here for 9 of those. I've visited upwards of 60 other military FamCamps, and for me the thing I liked the most about this one was that you knew it was going to be fair. They posted the rules, the computer kept track of everything, and you knew where you stood. I believe claims of favoritism and cronyism under the old regime are unfounded and mostly the result of past campers that didn't get the site they wanted or thought that some people didn't have to move. My answer to that is, "Do you know that the person in that site doesn't have a medical, or maybe they just got lucky and on their due out date, there happened to be no one on the waiting list. Therefore they were allowed to re-sign up". It's just the way the ball bounces sometimes. I sincerely believe they ran it as fair as they could. I'll tell you what's unfair and it was completely out of the camp host's hands. There were healthy people who went out and got medical exceptions from a doctor just so they wouldn't have to move. Now that's garbage. Bottom line, people loved this place because it was fair and they knew where they stood. To say that all negative reviews on this site are because crony's aren't able to run the show like they did in the past is nonsense and totally unfair to those previous camp hosts who strived to do a good job. I'll say it again because it bears repeating. The computer ran the show, not the camp hosts. It showed when people were due out, and what sites were coming open. I think the main complaint under the NEW management was that there were way too many open sites and it seemed like there was no consistency about what time sites would be assigned. I'm not buying that all these open sites were contracted sites. First of all, most people leave something, (ie. red cone), in their site when they leave for a short time. Second of all, I saw empty sites near me all the time, and when they were filled, it was different people that moved in. Maybe if the office knew how to work the computer system, they wouldn't have to go around to physically check sites to see if they are empty. The computer would tell them which sites were opening up for that day. By having to drive around to check for empty sites, if the person who was due out that day hadn't left yet, or they just happened to miss a site, they had no idea that site was open. That maybe why there were so many open sites. I will say it's not the office personnel fault that they did not know how to use the system or get the most out of it. They were not trained properly. Maybe before all the old camp hosts quit, the person responsible should have learned the computer system themselves. I know for a fact on January 18, MLK Day, there were at least 9 open sites. This does not count sites that had something in them designating a contract site. And yet there was a sign on the bulletin board that said no full hookup sites available on that day. The office was closed that day for the holiday, but if they had used the computer properly, they would have known that some sites were coming open, and could have listed those as first come, first serve. The temperature that night got down into the mid 30's. I'm pretty sure, that some of those in overflow would have liked to have electric that night. This never would have happened under the old management. I also believe that every person in that office tried to do a great job and accommodate everyone. Whenever you have a management shakeup, there are going to be growing pains. For about 10 months of the year at Davis-Monthan, running the FamCamp is probably pretty easy because the campground is not full. It gets complicated when you have 250 guests for only 200 sites or whatever the exact numbers are. I believe the current office people were not quite ready for this. I'm sure in the future, they will be much better prepared. My next point is how does publishing a list of open sites and/or where you are on the list violate any ones Privacy Act. It may well, I just don't know how. I do know that by keeping that information to yourself, it allows you to have unlimited unaccountability. No one knows how many are on the list, what sites are open, or how it's being managed. Maybe it's just me, but I like transparency. It's obvious from the comments here, others do as well. I have to address the previous comments from a "Pepper", who by the way sounds an awful lot like the new manager. If it isn't, I would be amazed since they know an awful lot about the previous administration and violations of the Privacy Act, etc. If it is, then shame on you for not identifying yourself as such. I have no problem with a Manager making comments about their FamCamp. They have as much a right as anyone else does and many times they can clarify issues, bring other points to light, and let the community of travelers know what is going on. But they shouldn't pretend to be a camper. On the topic of the previous reviewers comments, and I quote, "I like the changes on the rotation to dry camp it made it fair with a quicker turn around. The overflow policies didn't change, they just eliminated harassment throughout the FamCamp by not posting names and site numbers". Since you said that overflow policies didn't change, what is it you did that somehow made the turn around in dry camp quicker. This is absolutely hogwash. If you have a set number of sites, with a set number of people that want to move into those sites, and everyone is allowed to stay in a site 3 weeks, and then has to move into overflow and wait to come back into the park, there is nothing you can do that will change that, or make it quicker. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Unless you add more full hookup sites, which is outside your capacity as manager. THE ONE THING YOU DID CHANGE, HOWEVER, MADE EVERY ONES STAY IN OVERFLOW LONGER. By allowing all sites open up to contracts, you subtracted from the number of sites available for rotation. Instead of say having 170 sites available for the 3 week rotation of people from overflow you now have 120 sites. That makes those that do not sign contracts, spend that much more time in overflow. For the last few years since they put in the new sites, no one has had to spend more than one, possibly two days in overflow. This year you were telling people 5 and 6 days in overflow. For some people just passing through, they will not get into an electric site. This is exactly opposite of what you purported to have done. I also believe that the new manager has done many things that are positive for the FamCamp. As I said at the beginning, it was and is a great place to stay. The one thing people really like is knowing that they are being treated fairly. But when they think they are not, and there is no transparency or what appears to be consistency, there are going to be problems. And these are valid concerns. In closing, I think Davis-Monthan FamCamp is a great place to stay and will remain so. I expect the office personnel to get more familiar with the system, and the problems of the past winter to be resolved for the most part. I really hope so, because I'll be back there.
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June 11, 2016
Having spent every other winter at DM FamCamp since 2005, I must agree with Stryder57 - his/her comment/review is well written, balanced, and, in my opinion, tells the "truth" about changes in the past year at DM Fam Camp. I must say that the "old system" was very much driven by the computer and fairness vs. any personal biases from the camp hosts (who several of are friends so I must divulge that conflict of interest). I have no problems with two issues (1) camp hosts vs. paid employees in the office -- it can work fine either way although, there needs to be more controls at night - couple times this past winter we had power outages and noone was quite sure how to deal with it. (2) Contract system - fine either way and people will have biases on this based upon their usage pattern. Of course it results in longer overflow periods as fewer sites rotate. It also results in less possibility of getting what one considers a desireable site as those are blocked due to contracts. Either way is workable and the management's choice. Be it prior host and RV Park managers or the current ones, we still love this campground. Hope everyone has a good summer.
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