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Pay Showers?!?

Posted by on October 19, 2009
From Glenwood Springs, we made our way to the Fort Collins area.  It was a region we had heard good things about and we were interested in seeing the town.  The drive from Glenwood Springs to Fort Collins along I-70 is beautiful and thankfully, it was a great day for a drive.  The sun was shining and the temperatures were not too chilly.  It was a perfect Autumn day.
We had difficulty finding a place to call home for the week.  We stopped at one state park but it seemed too close to the interstate, so we continued moving.  We came to Boyd Lake State Park and while it was a nice park, we weren’t completely sold on it. It only had electric hookups and the price was a bit much for just electric.  We continued on and found the local KOA but it lacked the campsite space we’ve come to prefer and appreciate. After driving around in circles, or so it seemed, for awhile, we agreed to stay at Boyd Lake State Park.  On our second arrival at the park, we decided we were very pleased with the park. The campsites were huge.  The park was well-manicured.  There were views of the mountains in the distant.  We could overlook the lack of water hookup in exchange for these amenities.  We were content to call the campground home for a week.
The price of the park was $18 for a campsite plus a $6 daily use fee for a total of $24.  This is about the average price we pay for a campsite, but usually we have water hookups. Again, we did not think it was a major issue.  We filled up the fresh water tank, found a nice spot, and went through the unhitching process.
The following morning, we were both disappointed to see that the campground showers required quarters.  We’ve come across this in a few parks (primarily in California).  At this particular park, three quarters allowed me about three minutes to shower. I could typically get by with using five to six quarters. I realize public parks have a lot to maintain and little money with which to maintain it.  But, again, I was paying $24 for an electric-only hookup, $6 of which was for my daily use fee.  The swim beach was closed (and rightly so…it was cold), and I had no intentions of putting my kayaks in the lake (again…chilly out!)…so for what is my daily use fee if not for a shower?  I’ll stop my ranting…for now. Side note:  The quarter slot was located along the back wall of the shower next to the shower handle.  Upon insertion of the last quarter, cold water would come shooting out.  By the end of the week, I perfected the art of inserting the quarter and gracefully (or not so much) moving out of the way in time before being sprayed by the icy cold water.  I mention this only because I worked so hard at accomplishing this somewhat difficult feat and feel you should be aware of this accomplishment.
This week we also had issues with our fresh water tank.  We think it may be the calibration of our water sensor OR the fact that the water from the park’s water spigot was very high pressure and therefore when we filled the tank (or thought we filled the tank) too much air got in and we actually did not completely fill the tank.  So, while we thought we were conserving our water, our sensor told us differently.  We were required to hitch up again shortly after unhitching and refill the tank.  Ugh.  Thanks to the many kind folks at Airforums who provided potential explanations and easing my concerns.
Aside from these issues, our week was pleasant.  The campground was located in Loveland, Colorado and I am totally impressed with Loveland’s bike path, which I used for walking purposes on the two nice days we had during the week.  The path started in the campground, went through some nice neighborhoods, a fun playground on which we spent some time on the swing sets and slides, and stopped (or, at least we stopped) at a shopping center.  The town of Loveland was absolutely lovely!
While we had two beautiful Autumn days during our stay, the remainder of the week was either rainy or snowy.  Yes, snowy!  The snow was beautiful to watch from our warm and toasty Airstream but by the end of the week, we were ready to move on…especially since another snowstorm was moving through the area and we have limited amounts of warm clothing.
Not the best picture, but this is from our drive along I-70 from Glenwood Springs to Fort Collins.

Not the best picture, but this was the scenery along I-70 from Glenwood Springs to Fort Collins.

From Glenwood Springs, we made our way to the Fort Collins area.  It was a region we had heard good things about and we were interested in seeing the town.  The drive from Glenwood Springs to Fort Collins along I-70 is beautiful and thankfully, it was a great day for a drive.  The sun was shining and the temperatures were not too chilly.  It was a perfect Autumn day.

We had difficulty finding a place to call home for the week.  We stopped at one state park but it seemed too close to the interstate, so we continued moving.  We came to Boyd Lake State Park and while it was a nice park, we weren’t completely sold on it. It only had electric hookups and the price was a bit much for just electric.  We continued on and found the local KOA but it lacked the campsite space we’ve come to prefer and appreciate. After driving around in circles, or so it seemed, for awhile, we agreed to stay at Boyd Lake State Park.  On our second arrival at the park, we decided we were very pleased with the park. The campsites were huge.  The park was well-manicured.  There were views of the mountains in the distant.  We could overlook the lack of water hookup in exchange for these amenities.  We were content to call the campground home for a week.

Views from Boyd Lake State Park.  The mountains are in the background.  You can't really see them, but trust me...they are there.

Views from Boyd Lake State Park. The mountains are in the background. You can't really see them, but trust me...they are there.

The price of the park was $18 for a campsite plus a $6 daily use fee for a total of $24.  This is about the average price we pay for a campsite, but usually we have water hookups. Again, we did not think it was a major issue.  We filled up the fresh water tank, found a nice spot, and went through the unhitching process.

The following morning, we were both disappointed to see that the campground showers required quarters.  We’ve come across this in a few parks (primarily in California).  At this particular park, three quarters were required to start the shower and three minutes of nice hot water. I could typically get by with using five to six quarters. I realize public parks have a lot to maintain and little money with which to maintain it.  But, again, I was paying $24 for an electric-only hookup, $6 of which was for my daily use fee.  The swim beach was closed (and rightly so…it was cold), and I had no intentions of putting my kayaks in the lake (again…chilly out!)…so for what is my daily use fee if not for a shower? I’ll stop my ranting…for now.

Wednesday.  74 and Sunny.

Wednesday. 74 and Sunny.

This week we also had issues with our fresh water tank.  We think it may be the calibration of our water sensor OR the fact that the water from the park’s water spigot was very high pressure and therefore when we filled the tank (or thought we filled the tank) too much air got in and we actually did not completely fill the tank.  So, while we thought we were conserving our water, our sensor told us differently.  We were required to hitch up again during the week to go and refill the tank.  Ugh.  (Side note: Thanks to the many kind folks at Airforums who provided potential explanations that eased my typical exaggerated worries.)

Thursday. 30 and Snowy.

Thursday. 30 and Snowy.

Aside from these issues, our week was pleasant.  The campground was located in Loveland, Colorado and I am totally impressed with Loveland’s bike path, which came in handy for our two nice days of the week.  The path started in the campground, went through some nice neighborhoods, which included a fun playground on which we spent some time on the swing sets and slides.  The town of Loveland was absolutely lovely!

While we had two beautiful Autumn days during our stay, the remainder of the week was either rainy or snowy.  Yes, snowy!  The snow was beautiful to watch from our warm and toasty Airstream but by the end of the week, we were ready to move on…especially since another snowstorm was moving through the area and we have limited amounts of warm clothing.

3 Responses to Pay Showers?!?

  1. Lotus

    Three minutes of hot water?!?!? Dang! That’s a lot of quarters for such a short amount of hot water time. I’m not sure I could handle it. I’m curious to see where you are off to next. Do you have a furnace in your Airstream?

  2. Lani

    It was a lot of quarters for little shower time. We are always disappointed to find pay showers in campgrounds…especially when we don’t have water or sewer hookups.

    Thankfully, we do have a furnace! Our Airstream stays nice and toasty on these chilly days! Love it!

    Catching up on blog entries today at a nearby library! Finally! We’ve been busy these last few days.

  3. Mom

    Great entry – your adventures are memorable! Wow – 25 cents for 3 minutes of a shower – I would never get my hair shampooed!

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