With Fort Collins and Denver behind us, we continued south towards our next stop for the week – Colorado Springs, CO! We were excited to explore… Little did we know things weren’t going to go quite as planned 🤭
After squeezing through a good mile or so of tight construction lanes we finally pulled into “Garden of the Gods RV Resort”, our most expensive stay yet. But Colorado Springs seemed to be in high demand, and it’s not like we’d reserved a “standard” or even a “deluxe” site… we’d booked a “PREMIUM” site… so we were okay with paying a premium price!
Man… this turned out to be the smallest campground we’d ever been to! We had inches to spare on each side of the rig as we navigated around tight turns and low hanging trees, making our way to our “Premium” site. But what we pulled into was anything but premium.
Not only was it rough and not quite level, but our picnic table was directly beside the neighbors’ sewer connection. Literally 4 feet from where you’d sit outside to eat, there is someone’s poop hose. And extending the slides would basically have put us over top of that same poop hose. Same situation on the other side. Our sewer hookup was directly beside the neighbors’ picnic table.
We also didn’t have enough room front to back. Had I unhitched the truck, we’d be sticking well out into the road. And with such narrow sites, there was no room to park the truck diagonally. It wasn’t going to work for us. So I headed into the office to see if we could get a refund since the site wasn’t big enough for our rig.
“No refunds after check-in…” was the stern response.
Ok. I get it. You spent time and labor checking us in and leading us to the site. No worries! I’m happy to pay for tonight even though we’re going to go ahead and leave. That’s fine! You guys can just refund for the remaining 6 nights.
“No refunds AT ALL after check-in…”
Hm. Okay. But we’d paid for an entire week and haven’t even hooked up yet. Plus, it’s not like we just “changed out minds”… our rig doesn’t even fit in the spot, and we’d indicated our dimensions when we made the reservation…
“No refunds… that’s just policy.”
I understand. It’s just policy. You can’t do anything about it because you’re simply an employee and have no power. Got it. No worries! Can I speak to a manager please?
Manager enters… “No refunds after check in… it’s simply the policy sir.”
Wow. And no one even seemed surprised that I was pushing so hard to leave and fighting for even just a partial refund.
Ah. I finally realized what was happening. Their sites don’t match the descriptions on their website so this sort of thing must happen ALL of the time. Therefore, they had to create a ridiculously strict refund policy because otherwise they’d never be able to fill all of their spots. Everyone would be leaving soon after check in. And the customer doesn’t even know what spot they’ll be getting until AFTER check-in. So it’s a perfect “trap”. Genius.
And if they were honest about their spots on the website, they couldn’t charge premium rates or they’d never get bookings. So let’s lie, obtain the bookings, check them in so they can’t get a refund, and then reference the no refund policy once they discover the sites don’t match the descriptions.
And it probably works 99/100 times. But not with us. You can’t TRAP us somewhere we don’t want to be. We left anyway and filed a legitimate chargeback with our credit card company for the entire amount and received a full refund. So PSA, make sure to avoid Garden of the Gods RV Resort if at all possible. But if you must stay there, make sure to have them let you check out your site BEFORE checking in. Otherwise they might try to bully you into staying.
Moments like this are when our Harvest Hosts membership really comes in handy! I hopped on the app, found a nice golf course 30 minutes away and before you know it, we were kicked up in a wide open lot with an awesome view as we spent the evening deciding where we were going to go next.
What’s Havest Hosts? It’s an awesome paid membership program that enables RVers to stay overnight on various “host” properties for FREE! Wineries, breweries, farms, museums, golf courses, etc. They all welcome us with open arms and a spot to park our rig for the night! This is the first membership we bought before moving into our rig full time and it literally paid for itself within the first week! Use our referral link HERE and you’ll get 15% OFF your membership PLUS you’ll help support ATSWG by earning us a sweet commission!
Shout out to the Harvest Hosts partner Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs, CO for the last minute accommodation and tasty snacks!
Colorado Springs, you were beautiful from the outside, but one of your most popular campgrounds is a bust. Maybe we’ll have a chance to explore another time. Until then… ✌️
Check out my Instagram Post on this experience to hear from others who have been treated poorly by this campground!