Chesapeake Campground, Chesapeake (near Norfolk), VA.
Park Review (out of 10.0)
Facility’s Cleanliness & Accessiblity
Overall Park Score
This park’s visit began as we arrived ahead of a winter polar vortex blast during the month of January. The first day began at 62˚ and sunny and within 24 hours, was 15˚ and blowing snow.
Don’t be caught off-guard as you enter the park (beyond the office) when you see some very closely parked RVs. It’s not a tightly packed park (although the actual sites are a bit tight) but rather a large RV storage lot you must pass to get to the actual campground in back.
We were nicely welcomed on Sunday and given one of the two remaining sites that could fit our big rig. The check-in conversation I had was like many I’d had before but with a different result. I had said that we’d stay until “…Wednesday or Thursday.” She said that she’d charge me through Wednesday and I assumed she meant Wednesday morning. And she said to let her know (just like all other previous times I had done this at other parks). When I finally glanced at the receipt, now Tuesday, and caught the charges through Thursday morning, I called. I was told I paid till Thursday and that was pretty much it. With subsequent trips in and out of the park, I decided to drop into the office and very gently query the staff (a different person now) about the extra day’s charge. They tapped the sign on the front of the counter stating out loud what the sign said – No Refunds. She further added that was the rule. First of all, I’m not a proponent of “the customer is always right.” They’re not. But the distaste this exchange left me with was because she didn’t even ask me what happened. It was a here’s-the-sign, that’s-the-rules, no-exceptions, attitude. I try to write this off as a misunderstanding: one where there was no benefit of the doubt given to the patron – no query, no discussion. Defer to the park’s rulebook.
This segues this introduction statement into something we had noticed when we first entered the campgrounds and something our first visitors pointed out when they came over to visit us during our stay. That being, it was obvious in a less-than-complimentary way that many of the campsites had been set up for a length of time. When I drove around the park, a prevailing view was the number of sites that had quite the clutter beneath, and around, the RVs definitely adding to that permanent residence look. Mind you, a permanent settled-in look is fine to me personally. It’s the messier cluttered thrown-about look that’s a turn-off. While at the office during our stay, I intentionally and gently (once again) pointed out that the rules also said “No camper will have the look of being used as a permanent residence.” I was quickly told, “That’s not true,” before she backed up a bit to seemingly correct herself by further telling me that no one lives there permanently however there are many extended stays in the park.
At any rate, the whole experience left a less-than-favorable impression. And I didn’t even tell the office about the car I found parked in our spot (overflow from the permanent looking residence next door) when I tried to set up on Sunday. It took almost an hour to locate the owner who had left the park in another car to go grocery shopping. I set up around their car (parking literally 1” from it) and parked my dingy across the street.
On a most positive note, driving into the campground it was evident that during peak season, this place would be quite the summer spot. They have plenty of things available from bicycle and canoe rentals to tennis courts, horses, playground and petting farm, exercise room, model train room, and much more. You could probably stay within the boundaries of the park for a week and never want for something to do.
If you have any kind of big rig ranging from a large motor home to a long truck and trailer/fifth-wheel, it could be pretty tight maneuvering around the park. Take it slow.