Always Improving – The Corps of Engineers


The cover of the Corps of Engineers new CD
The cover of the Corps of Engineers new CD

One of the aspects of the Corps of Engineers campgrounds I like the most is that they are constantly working on improving their campgrounds.  This is in distinct contrast to what we saw with the Forest Service.  There it seemed that they had their hands full just trying to hang on to what they have and actually improving something seemed out of the question.

There are two ways to illustrate that from recent experience.  For one,  when we arrived here last Thursday, after getting registered and pointed in the direction of our campsite we were handed a free CD.  It turns out that the old, obsolete maps from 2002 and 2005 and 2007 that had the Corps of Engineers campgrounds on them, but had not been updated have now been replaced by a hand CD.  Everyone has a computer — don’t they (he says sarcastically)!

The second illustration of the Corps dedication to improvement is the work that’s going on here in the campgrounds.

  • The shower houses are nicely tiled (as opposed to plain concrete block shower enclosures) and the water is (if not steaming) at least hot enough for a HOT shower.
  • They have enlarged all of their full hookup sites (10 of them) this year — they have made them wider allowing for easier pull through access.
  • They are enlarging sites in one of the several campsite ‘loops’ to make those easier to back into, offering a wider apron so that poorly trained drivers don’t go banging into their neighbors while trying to back into their sites.
  • And they are adding a lot of additional gravel fill to provide sure footing and more level sites for campers.

2014100510514405 2014100510511404This is the kind of dedication to quality that makes campers happy.  The philosophy at the Forest Service was if you reserve a campsite that’s the one you get — even if you don’t like it.  Over the weekend we were talking to the fee collector here and he asked us if we liked our site and he OFFERED that if we didn’t we could change to any unoccupied site if we chose because “You’re the reason that we’re here and we want you to be happy.”   What a completely opposite view to customer service.

Of course Shelbyville isn’t the whole Corps, any more than the Oregon Dunes were the whole Forest Service.  And we have been to campgrounds where switching sites was harder, and I’m sure the Forest Service has places where changing sites is easier — I can only comment on those things I know for sure.  But we have consistently seen the Corps building and rebuilding, improving and re-improving (after floods) their facilities.  Likey, Likey.

2014100608071502 2014100608072403Just before we moved from State Fair Park I had succeeded in shifting some of our internal storage around in the office so that I was pretty happy with it.  With it being so cool the last few days I have not gotten to the basement as I would have liked but I did have time to think about the way we have utilized the storage above the cockpit and passenger’s seat.  Today I’m going to move all those travel books, magazines, and literature from the cabinets up there and bring them back into the bedroom/office.  Then ALL of our library will be in the same place and  even though I may still have to go searching for books or maps — at least they’ll all be in ONE place.   It may not be pretty — but it’s all part of making an RV into your home instead of just a place to sleep.

I think I’m going to stop there, for today.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Are these sites found on Reserve America to reserve, or can they be found elsewhere? Our limited experience with the national forest camping is similar to yours, too.

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    1. I thought I answered this but maybe not.

      The Corps campgrounds are on both ReserveAmerica.com and on Recreation.gov — I like prefer Recreation.gov personally.

      Clearly the Corps and the USFS have different agendas; but you get a better bang for your buck with the Corps for sure.

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  2. Thanks also for the info. I don’t think I have stayed in the corps of engineers campgrounds so I will definitely be checking them out.

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    1. Christine,

      I always hesitate talking too much or speaking too highly of the Corps campgrounds — in some ways I think they are one of the better kept secrets among campers in general — and no one wants to ruin a good thing by making it to popular.

      They aren’t as posh as many RV parks, but the tariff is easier to take and their ‘product’ is sound and safe and away from a lot of the hubbub of camping. And their water control projects have made this nation safer by a magnitude of order.

      Have fun! and Welcome on board Life Unscripted.

      Like

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