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Posted: 7/19/2021 9:42:23 PM EDT
I travel around the West a lot and have stayed in many USFS campgrounds.  Some of them are beautiful.  Many have a Campground Host.  Seems like it might be a fun way to spend a few months.  Pros?  Cons?  Does it pay?  Etc.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:10:44 PM EDT
Have thought about it.

That being said, your question seems searchable concerning pay and such.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:11:58 PM EDT
I did it for a summer at a little campground an hour from the nearest town.  (Only 5 minutes from a set-up /3.2 bar. ) No pay.  There wasn't a whole lot of vistors so I didn't really have to do much. Mostly just chit chat with the people that did come.  Got invited to lots of people's sites for fires and beer and food.

I would do it again.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:15:24 PM EDT
There are loads of camphost websites to look for jobs.   Some require more than others.  None that I ever found paid outside of a free full utility slot with great shade.   Have chatted with many over the years and all see to be retired, or work in the nearest town.  One guy was a tradesman so he worked FT and his wife did the campground stuff.  Most require late model Class A/C or a big camper.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:18:28 PM EDT
1) Do you have a real job? Wifi is shit at most campgrounds and more of a "Ehhh, it might work so we'll include it on the website" than guaranteed. You'll need to plan on using a hotspot for critical communications.

2) Are you going to look the other way about the devil's lettuce, or call Ranger Rick? Same for open containers, gatherings over the number allowed per site, etc. Especially weed on USFS land, since it's still illegal there and most dumbass potheads do not understand that.

3) Do you have a strong stomach or are you a tender tummy for when you're offered to join in someone's gathering?

4) How do you feel about Karens and the scenarios they get themselves into when their glamping goes wrong? Do you know how to set up every model of tent and air mattress sold in Target?

Kharn
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:19:30 PM EDT
Wouldn’t be a bad retirement gig in the right spot.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 10:28:23 PM EDT
Never done it , but wife and I have talked about it, as a retirement gig. First discussed on our honeymoon ( almost month long road trip living out of truck in campgrounds. 23 years ago. ) we still talk about as a retirement gig. After talking with multiple hosts lots off them do different parks switching periodically.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 11:11:44 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kharn:
1) Do you have a real job? Wifi is shit at most campgrounds and more of a "Ehhh, it might work so we'll include it on the website" than guaranteed. You'll need to plan on using a hotspot for critical communications.

2) Are you going to look the other way about the devil's lettuce, or call Ranger Rick? Same for open containers, gatherings over the number allowed per site, etc. Especially weed on USFS land, since it's still illegal there and most dumbass potheads do not understand that.

3) Do you have a strong stomach or are you a tender tummy for when you're offered to join in someone's gathering?

4) How do you feel about Karens and the scenarios they get themselves into when their glamping goes wrong? Do you know how to set up every model of tent and air mattress sold in Target?

Kharn
View Quote

Retired, no jerb.

Dope smokers don't bother me unless they are being nuisances and bother other campers.  I doubt the cops, even if called, would give it priority.

I am good at declining unwanted invitations.  I am not anti-social, but I keep to myself mostly.

Karen?  Tell her to read the rules on the sign-in kiosk.  Anything not on there isn't covered by the Host.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 8:48:50 AM EDT
One of the favorite memories of my life is traveling to Colorado and camping at a small campground like you describe. Near Blackhawk, or Nighthawk, or whatever that casino town just west of Denver is. My buds and I met the hosts, they were a young couple around our age who just traveled the country, taking up odd jobs for a few months at a time before moving on.

Probably the first time in my life I was exposed to the concept that you didn't have to get a stable job in one city and do it from age 22 to 64 in order to have a fulfilling life. We had a wonderful time hanging out with them at our campfire several nights.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 11:05:48 AM EDT
Some of these sites are remote with little activity. Most of the prime locations are already taken by others who have done this for a while. Some places were pretty unappealing and lonely.

Not sure riding around in a golf cart cleaning toilets in the morning and evening are worth the ability to live there free.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 11:10:11 AM EDT
Pretty sure the Natl forest ones just get free hookup if any and don't have to pay the daily fee.

Private campgrounds might be different.
Link Posted: 7/21/2021 11:13:01 AM EDT
I manage park hosts (not for USFS though).

NPS pays in some cases, not sure about forest service.

Exact duties will vary widely by park/agency.  My agency requires 20 hrs/week for a full-hookup site.  

Find out exactly what your duties and expectations are, especially re:other campers.  I generally don't recommend backing other people's trailers, for example, and if you do that it's on you, not us.  If you don't like cleaning bathrooms, make sure you ask if that's on the park host duties list.

Understand that you will get knocks on the door at 2am for the dumbest shit.  If you can't maintain a friendly facade sure those interactions, this job is probably not for you.

Re:rules/law violations.  There is a balance you will need to maintain.  I don't expect to get a call every time you see a beer bottle or pipe or whatever.  But, if I get camper complaints about a giant trashed-out campsite with 85 people and drugs and aggressive dogs and whatnot, and it turns out that you knew about it and didn't say anything because fuck the police, you're packing your shit immediately.  

On the flip side, if you treat your campground like your own personal fiefdom and go rampaging off on someone for parking with a wheel slightly on the grass, all your going to do is cause complaints, and you'll be parking your shit.

Thankfully, most hosts are rational humans that can tell the difference between (or don't even bother looking for) little piddly shit and things that can actually affect the safety of well-being of the campers or the park itself.  One thing I would ask is that if you DO see something that you need to report, for the love of fuck do it right then and don't wait till morning. Reporting the guy that went ripping through the campground at 2am in his loud-ass truck shooting guns out the window is kinda pointless if you wait till 10am to report it.  This is my biggest pet peeve with park hosts.

Its also worth saying that some park hosts are busybodies that LOVE stirring drama with other hosts or park staff.  Don't be that guy.  Get your hours, and don't worry about if/how someone else is getting theirs.

As you can probably tell from this post, 90% of park host headaches are caused by hosts' interactions with campers and each other.  It is a people-forward job.  Know that before you go in.  

Link Posted: 7/21/2021 11:43:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kpacman:
Not sure riding around in a golf cart cleaning toilets in the morning and evening are worth the ability to live there free.
View Quote


Around here, the hosts aren't responsible for cleaning bathrooms or doing maintenance - that's done by .gov employees or contractors.     The hosts will refill the TP if necessary, but anything bigger is a call to the maintenance guys.    

That probably varies between states/agencies/whatever.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:20:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 9:22:37 AM EDT by jchewie1]
We have friends that do, and I would like to at some point in the distant future.

Friends experience is hit/miss based on responsible  personnel and their supervisory style.  Some had a few rules that weren't part of the official requirements, that included posting out of the ordinary hours of availability.  Friends are great people, and it was/is the wife's mission to ensure spotless and clean smelling vault toilets, she went so far as to buy additional cleaning and deodorizing supplies for a few years, but that requirement led to them seeking other opportunities.  She currently goes to the southwest in the winter and gets out of the cold.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:24:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:31:05 AM EDT
Campground host, shitters full on latrine #7.

Know of one who found a guy hanging in the showers.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:33:45 AM EDT
I've talked to a few of the hosts as we did a bunch of campgrounds and state parks. Seems like a great way to get a primo spot. Sure you'd have to deal with some levels of drama but by and large the people that camp/RV seem to generally enjoy the same kinds of things and are decent people to hang out with.

I'm thinking about it as a retirement gig. Could travel to some of the less well known spots and stay/live cheaply
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:52:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Lou_Daks:
I am good at declining unwanted invitations.  I am not anti-social, but I keep to myself mostly.

Karen?  Tell her to read the rules on the sign-in kiosk.  Anything not on there isn't covered by the Host.
View Quote


based solely on those two things I dont think its for you. its mostly a people job. persons lost, person can't get cell phone reception, person can't figure our their whatever, bathroom doesn't work, person wants abc, person A complains about person B, the list goes on.

keeping to yourself isn't going to work on many of those. no you don't have to attend dinner parties but you do have to talk to and work with people. all the time. you'll have to resolve conflicts. i was camping one time and the groundskeeper came over to talk to me. my campfire smoke was blowing over someone else. yeah a breeze does that. someone complained about it. 4 times. apparently that's incredibly common and he just ignores it the first 3 times. you also have to deal with people banging on your door at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 6am, sometimes all in the same night for incredibly stupid stuff. theres a lot of people who aren't very smart, and yes they camp too.

every host ive talked to either loves it or hates it, theres very little middle ground. ok karen go read the sign i dont do that isn't going to go well for you most places. think of it as a glorified babysitter job for adults in a nicer location. if you couldn't make it in retail dealing with all the idiots it's probably not for you.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:54:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2021 9:55:40 AM EDT by MikeJGA]
24x7x52 work.  No thanks.
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