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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Petoskey, Michigan / KOA Campground

July 2013, Weekday-weekend, 3-nights, Electric and water site #71, and Electric, water, and sewer site #210

Check-in
There were not any guests in front of us when we arrived Thursday evening to check-in to site 71, so it did not take us long. My sister and her husband had arrived and checked into site 210 that afternoon. She said that there were several guests ahead of them when they arrived, and that it took them well over 15 minutes. This campground provides an "escort" to the lot after guests arrive, so they had to wait for someone to escort them to their site after the check-in chaos.

We were each given a small package of complimentary Hungry Jack hashbrowns from "KOA." We also received gate keys, which we needed to use to enter the park.

Our escort initially wanted us to unhook our Jeep at the campground entrance; however, we discouraged that because it only takes a few seconds to unhook it, and we wanted to park it on our lot. This was a good decision, since the check-in area got busy after we arrived, and it would have caused more congestion at the entrance.

Lot 71
Lot 71 is shown in blue on the campsite map. It is the blue lot second from the right, near the top of the page. This lot backs up to trees, and does not have sewer hook up. You can click on the map to zoom in.

We were originally assigned lot 70, the blue lot to the right of 71. When we made our reservation in January, I had been told that lot 70 was the only lot available in this area. Since lot 70 looked like the smallest lot, I contacted the park again in April to see if any of the other lots had become available. I had hoped to get lot 74, the lot behind my sister, although I figured anything would be better than lot 70. In April, I was able to get reassigned to lot 71.
Lot 71

It was 90 degrees the day we arrived, so I was glad that we were not on lot 70. Lot 70 is right next to the cabin on the other side of it, and it does not have any shade. Lot 71 is very shady, which we liked; however, it does not have any grass. The ground cover is dirt, leaves, and branches.

There is a tar pad on the site, and there is a step down to the fire pit and picnic table in the trees. The fire pit is in a somewhat secluded area, although, as I already stated, it was dirt. We moved the table up to the tar pad so that it was not in the dirt, since it was too hot to have a fire the first night.

Lot edge next to electrical box,
Lot 70 fire pit 
The grill for this lot is located by the electrical box, on the other side of the lot, next to lot 70. The fire pit shown in that photo is the neighbor's.

I thought that lot 72 looked like the best lot in this area. Lot 72 is secluded with trees on both sides, and behind it, and the lot is grassy. Lots 70 and 71 were both mostly dirt, although lot 70 had some grass. Lot 71 was secluded on the side between lots 71 and 72; however, the tar pad is very close to lot 70 with nothing between that lot and lot 70.

Our son was coming to stay with us during part of our stay. We had expected a grass lot, and he was planning to bring his tent. I guess it did not matter that the lot was not grassy for him to put up his tent, because we found out that tents are not allowed on the RV campsites. We had thought he would be able to put it up for an extra charge. He had to pay $3 per day just to stay in our camper with us. The campground rules said that all visitors over the age of 3 had to pay $3 per day.

Lot 210
Lot 210
Lot 210 is the large pinkish color lot near the top on the site map. The lots in this area also have sewer hook up.

According to the campsite map, this lot looks like one of the largest lots in this area. The campsite map for this lot is not accurate, and my sister was seriously disappointed. Especially, since we were both staying here for three nights.

As you can see in the photo, lot 210 is right next to one of the cottages. The fire pit for this lot is next to the cottage as well. There is not a campsite on the other side of lot 210; it is a community fire pit.

The open area on the map between our two lots is also not as shown on the campground map. Lot 210 and lot 74 are right behind each other. There are a few trees between the two lots, and a small gully; however, they are not a great distance apart. It is the same between lot 71 and cottage 229; we were right behind each other, with trees in between. The treed area behind lot 71 is a greater distance from the cottage than behind lot 210, although we could still see and hear the guests at the cottage.

One-room Cabin #10 and Camping Lodge #41
Other family members rented a one-room cabin and a camping lodge. The one-room cabin contained a double bed and bunk beds. The lodge contained a queen bed in a bedroom, bunk beds, a bathroom with shower, kitchen, and sitting area with a table and futon. I was told that the shower in the camping lodge could not be used because there was a big wad of hair in the shower that had not been cleaned. When one of the guests complained about this at checkout, the host did not apologize or offer any compensation to make up for this.

Both units had a front porch with seats or a swing, a picnic table on the grass, and a fire pit. They are pretty much as shown on the map above with a couple of minor differences: cabin 10 is not quite as large as the square looks on the map, and the yard behind lodge 41 was not really that big of an area that was usable, since it extended over and was utilized by the neighbors next door.

The guests who stayed in cabin #10 on Friday night had a little bit of trouble during check-in because their name had been spelled incorrectly, and the employee could not find it without the confirmation number. They did not correctly check-in the guest who stayed in cabin #10 on Saturday night, so there was a bit of confusion when the guests arrived to check-in to the camping lodge. The guests in the camping lodge, and the guests who had stayed in cabin #10 on Friday night, did not receive their complimentary Hungry Jack hashbrowns.

Swimming pool and whirlpool tub
The swimming pool was heated, and the water was quite warm. The whirlpool tub was also very warm. I did not use it Friday morning since it was so hot out, although my husband did. We did not get to use the area for long because it was thundering in the distance that morning, and the area was closed shortly after we got there.

Showers and restrooms
I did not think that the facilities were adequate for a park this size. The restroom showers between lot 71 and camping lodge 41 were always filthy, and there was always a wait. There are only three rooms in this building, and each room is a toilet/shower combination. If you wanted to use the facilities, and they were all occupied, you never knew if you were waiting for someone using the restroom or someone taking a shower.

Standard restrooms were located in the main building at the entrance--Men's and Women's restrooms with several stalls in each. There was only one soap dispenser in the Women's restroom though! None of the restrooms contained paper towels. They all had a low speed hand dryer. Universal shower stalls were located in the hallway outside of the restrooms in the main building.

Restrooms were also located in the pool area. The Women's restroom had one stall.

Misc. and overall
I did not think that the $50+ rate per night that this KOA charges for an RV site was worth it. It was a few dollars more for sewer hook up, than it was for just the electric and water hook up. Tent sites were $34.95 a night. I expected a nicer site, and nicer and cleaner facilities than what we received. A bundle of firewood at the park was $6.50.

It was nice that we could leave our trash by the road, and the escorts in their carts would stop by throughout the day and pick up the bags.