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TOPIC: Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 10 months ago #14809

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I have read several reviews regarding Homesteaders in RV parks and campgrounds. I have visited a couple of the campgrounds and found this to be the case where there are folks that reside full time in the Military Campgrounds and RV parks, I thought there were rules that prohibited such full time residences. Does anyone have any comments regarding this practice. Ft. Knox, Keesler AFB and Camp Atterbury are just three that come to mind that have full time residents........

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 10 months ago #14810

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Just search this forum for "Homesteaders" and you'll see that many people have made comments about this subject. If I were to summarize what I've read over the years, I'd say that in spite of rules for running Famcamps in each service, Base Commanders have a lot of latitude in running their individual MWR activities. Most retired RV'ers think homesteading is wrong with lots of good reasons given. I've also heard some reasonable reasons for allowing it, such as keeping park occupancy high, humanitarian reasons like after hurricane Katrina, and active duty folks with unique situations that strike a cord with the base leadership. I don't think any of us that use military campgrounds are expecting any significant changes. Just my opinion. Bob
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Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 8 months ago #15011

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Over the years, we have stayed in many Fam-Camps. Almost all of them had some amount of Homesteading taking place. Hands down the worst base we have visited for this problem was Dover AFB DE. They have a very small facility with only 10 sites. Seven of those sites were taken up by personnel assigned there. One Squadron Commander, two Senior NCO's, two Jr NCO's and a civilian contractor. I was told by a SSgt that was homesteading that the Squadron Commander had been there for two years. If the base is going to allow this to continue, then eliminate the 14 day stay limit.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15811

  • DutchStar38
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Are long term campers hogging all the premium space Station? Then write a letter to the base commander and also cc it to the Department of Defense. Unless people make it known it will not change. I have run across many bases that have LONG time campers into the years. A letter to the park manager means nothing since many times they are the ones overstepping their authority. Also convince others to write letters. Military RV parks are "Recretional" parks not home sites. Why should I have to park in the blazing hot sun jbecause a bunch of homesteaders have all the shaded sites?

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15815

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I'm not sure what exactly constitutes homesteading. Seems to me folks just get upset if they can't get the spot they want, and consistently blame it on "homesteading". I've stayed for weeks at a time in some campgrounds and for very short stays in others. I really don't get why anyone should care how long I stay, as long as I pay my bill, keep a clean site don't cause a disturbance, and move at the required frequency. I can honestly say that I've never heard anyone complain about how often people golf, bowl, swim, or use any of the other MWR facilities. And, I know of no frequency of use restrictions on these facilities like there are with campgrounds. Perhaps that's because it seems to always be the occasional users of FAMCAMPs that do a lot of complaining? I'm not sure. In fact, I'm of the opposite mind from a lot of the homestead complainers. I think three to six months is very reasonable for a stay, and if the base has vacancies, another 3 to 6 months should be fine. In fact, I'd bet that many of the homestead complainers are unaware that base housing on many bases allow retirees (and others) to lease base housing now that it is mostly privatized. If I can lease a house on base, why should anyone care that I rent a site in the RV park for a few months? If the contractor of base housing can make money off of retirees, why not MWR? Allowing longer term RVers makes sense to me in that those are the folks who consistently provide funds more-so than the one or two nights and gone crowd. In any event, it seems to me that a lot of the problem could be resolved if the DoD would require bases to use reservations, and set a standard (say...6-months) for all FAMCAMPs with a required exit period before another reservation could begin. It's been my experience that the short-frequency stay limits of 2-weeks and such often are used by the MWR folks to prevent having to properly manage who does and does not have priority. In effect, this prevents the folks who should have unrestricted access according to the DoD Instruction, from actually being able to have the priority they earned.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15816

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I guess it's just a difference in opinion. Base housing is intended for full time living not recreational use. A campground is intended for recreational use and not full time living. If a military campground has such low occupancy that it needs the income to stay open, I don't think you'd hear complaints from recreational/short term campers if they allow longer stays if they leave enough sites open for access. In the case of Mayport Naval Station, with the previous max stay of two weeks, it was always at a high level of occupancy especially in the winter. I hope it's obvious that allowing a camper to stay for six months prevents others (24 one week stays) from being able to enjoy a spectacular military campground.
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Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15817

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I don't disagree--if there is no room, and the users actually have priority. Problem is that the MWR folks tend not to verify the status of the users, and non-priority folks are treated the same as those who, by regulation, should have the priority. Additionally, the campgrounds mostly stopped being recreational when they put in full hookups. The DOD Instruction seems to recognize that, because it actually addresses it. And, in reality a huge number of folks live in their rigs. Commercial campgrounds have recognized it and figured out ways to manage both recreation and full-time to maximize their income. DOD is still floundering. As for me, I stay in a KOA long-term right now and the price is very compare able to the base. It is much smaller than a nearby base campground, but far better managed, cleaner, better maintained, and has more ammenities. Still, I'd rather give the money to MWR, but they don't seem to want it, and policies seem to prevent it. And BTW, that FAMCAMP is nowhere near full, but they still want you to move every two weeks. KOA doesn't do that, and they actually treat me like a customer.
Last Edit: by rnzbus76. Reason: Needed to add a comment.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15818

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In my opinion Mayport is WELL managed and has the luxury of having two campgrounds on base. One is for long term stays and the one we're discussing here is Pelican Roost, a short term (at least in the past). If you've never stayed there you ought to try to get in the next time you're traveling. Waterfront views, the ocean a short walk away and Navy men of war coming and going and at the pier. Free washers and dryers, a great lodge with computers and a kitchen. And a great staff. I know everyone doesn't share this opinion as Frank pointed out with his "good Ole boy" reference. And there is probably some truth in that to some degree. The staff is human and we know what humans are capable of. For the most part they treat everyone fairly. I'm a big fan of the Navy and Pelican Roost as I'm sure you can tell and that's why losing access is an important issue to me.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15819

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I'm flakey. I thought I was responding on the Mayport Pelican Roost thread dealing with length of stay. Please excuse another of my frequent lapses.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15821

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I've never stayed at Mayport, bur will soon. My grandson is now on the USS New York which is based there. The base I was mentioning is in the west and is Air Force. The Air Force Policy is far from being consistently enforced. And it seems to be unduly focused on preventing residency. Not sure what that has to do with anything, as I'm already a resident of this state.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15833

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I suspect part of the problem with the "homesteading' idea - some bases allow DOD to stay, and some allow AD to stay and for long periods beyond the 'allowed stay'. In many cases, taxpayers are funding housing at a specific rate based on local rentals for both AD and DOD. When either category stays at the MC's for less $$$ than local housing, then pockets the extra leftover dollars. That might be considered "cheating', because the MCG's are for recreation stays, NOT full-time housing, especially when it involves those site occupants putting tax-free funds in their own bank accounts.

And, another complaint illustrates many full-timers staying in a site as a personal campsite. And when we have enough full-timers using those sites, then in fact it means many recreation campers can't use the campsites for recreation. it always seems to come down to the money, instead of the original purpose of campgrounds - and the reason any one individual uses the campgrounds usually indicates on which side of the wall he/she falls.

Part of the problems arises when the ability for the CO to decide which is best for that command - sometimes, personal preferences influence how that decision gets made. IF the CO camps, the campground wins, if the CO golfs, the golf course wins, if the CO fishes, the marinas win.

So, back to the MCG issue, some campers abuse the privilege, and over stay to save $$$ - that's never a good reason for the majority, and only benefits that individual. We all earned the same benefits, and when one individual or group interferes with the benefit another earned,then it becomes selfish and self-interest.

To add a personal thought here - any time there is no housing available for AD,t hen AD and family should get preference - other than that, it's not ever a good reason to overstay and hog the campground sites for an extended time.
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Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 1 year 3 months ago #15834

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Words of wisdom Mr. Monkey.

Homesteading in Military Campgrounds and RV Parks 10 months 1 week ago #16128

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monkey44 wrote: I suspect part of the problem with the "homesteading' idea - some bases allow DOD to stay, and some allow AD to stay and for long periods beyond the 'allowed stay'. In many cases, taxpayers are funding housing at a specific rate based on local rentals for both AD and DOD. When either category stays at the MC's for less $$$ than local housing, then pockets the extra leftover dollars. That might be considered "cheating', because the MCG's are for recreation stays, NOT full-time housing, especially when it involves those site occupants putting tax-free funds in their own bank accounts.
.
And, another complaint illustrates many full-timers staying in a site as a personal campsite. And when we have enough full-timers using those sites, then in fact it means many recreation campers can't use the campsites for recreation. it always seems to come down to the money, instead of the original purpose of campgrounds - and the reason any one individual uses the campgrounds usually indicates on which side of the wall he/she falls.

Part of the problems arises when the ability for the CO to decide which is best for that command - sometimes, personal preferences influence how that decision gets made. IF the CO camps, the campground wins, if the CO golfs, the golf course wins, if the CO fishes, the marinas win.

So, back to the MCG issue, some campers abuse the privilege, and over stay to save $$$ - that's never a good reason for the majority, and only benefits that individual. We all earned the same benefits, and when one individual or group interferes with the benefit another earned,then it becomes selfish and self-interest.

To add a personal thought here - any time there is no housing available for AD,t hen AD and family should get preference - other than that, it's not ever a good reason to overstay and hog the campground sites for an extended time.


Sickening IMO when I see active duty types whom are paid/provided for with allowances and they game the system buying fifth wheel campers, trucks and homestead/squat paying cheap base campground fees pocketing extra $$$...becomes especially insulting when they come on websites like this trying to sell the idea this conduct is acceptable much less how it's enriching their kids lives as they now have $$$ for their kids music, dance whatever classes since they're living substandard in a camper at a campground among transient communities instead of base housing communities where military families belong as they should be. This is how a lot of campground drama starts, dependant wives & dependant kids thinking they're residents in a transient community whom are priority/have seniority over traveling veterans.

Hawkeyewife wrote: It would be great if the military embraced this lifestyle for folks that are looking for a minimalistic (or as my daughter puts it, smaller carbon footprint) way of life. Think of how much less PCS costs would be if even 10% of AD families were given this option? We have four kids and moved from our five bedroom base house (where we paid full BAH plus additional utility costs that varied not based upon consumption but a rather arbitrary billing system based upon comparison of homes in our community which could be occupied or unoccupied) into a 425 sq ft fifth wheel two years ago. We will retire here so PCS costs won't be saved in our case but we are in a much better financial place having downsized before retirement than after.
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