Although the campground has gorgeous ocean views and is conveniently located, the experience we had June 11th-18th justify this rating and others should know about safety issues before booking. First, when choosing a campground we wanted one that had new trailers with two bedrooms that we could rent. The floor plan shown on the website shows a kids bunkroom with a slide which is what we wanted given that our son is already 5’4” -- we wanted the kids to have plenty of space for the week. However, when we arrived a trailer with a small bunkroom with no slide, very cramped, was setup on our site. We figured that others must have reserved the larger bunkhouse models we saw parked across the lot so we moved our stuff in. The next morning, no one was in either camper so I went to the front desk to speak to Steve or Astrid and was told by Astrid’s father that they had gone away for 3 days. I explained that when booking with Astrid we discussed that we were excited for renting this camper with the slide because we are looking at buying one just like it and asked if someone else had those campers reserved. He told us that no one had them booked, that they show both on the website and that you didn’t get to pick a certain trailer, and that the Hornet was already in the front row so they had just moved it over. I checked the website and it does mention a Hornet trailer but the only floor plan shown on the site shows a bunkhouse model with a slide, so that’s what we were expecting when we booked. He agreed to move the Springdale over but we first had to unpack all of our stuff and run it over to the new camper - a waste of our vacation time.
Things were fine for 2 days until we were saying goodnight to the kids one evening and the scissor jack on the right side of the camper folded and the blocks fell out from under it. My daughter started screaming as the slide with their bunks in it was tilting downward and within seconds, the other scissor jack folded. My husband ran out to make sure that nothing else would be dropping and since it was 10:30 at night, we got the kids to sleep and waited until morning to go to the office. We were told that “these things happen”, asked if we were alright and that they would fix it when we went out. The fix was piling up pieces of wood in various sizes and shapes which left the camper leaning to the right for the rest of our stay but it was secure.
These were just inconveniences at this point, but on Monday morning, June 18th the events turned dangerous. It was 8:30 in the morning and we heard a popping sound, followed by our daughter announcing that the camper was filling with smoke. I jumped up and flung open the door to let the smoke out to see the guy next door trying to unplug his camper from the GFCI breaker - it was seriously hot and he had to pull his hand away before burning it. He told us that they had been eating breakfast and their microwave turned on by itself and their camper filled with smoke too. His smoke detector was going off, but ours wasn’t because -- IT HAD NO BATTERIES!!! He ran and got a pot holder and unplugged his camper while my husband went and unplugged ours. The GFCI breakers didn’t work sending electrical current into all of the campers. Our son ran up to the office and got Steve. We all got dressed and went outside while we let the smoke out of the camper. Steve and his crew began walking around to see what was wrong. I noticed that the area all around our fire pit, the metal box that they setup on each site to make a campfire, was surrounded by water. I asked them if they saw this and was told that they thought we had poured water on the fire to put it out. I told him that we didn’t pour water on it and that’s when they found the water coming up from the ground under our firepit. They got a shovel and dug up the ground to expose the electrical and water lines that were running directly under the firebox. As the photo shows, these lines were buried only 2” under the ground and the heat from the fire the night before had melted the coating on the electrical wire as well as the water line which had shorted out the electricity. I asked how they could have water and electrical lines running beside each other not in conduit buried just 2” below ground that any kid could have poked with a marshmallow stick and one of the guys said it was fine because the wire has an in-ground rating. My husband being a contractor and having built our own 12,000 sq. ft. B&B, we know that underground means that it is rated such so long as it’s 18” below grade. He said this wasn’t the case, it was fine. They began repairing the lines while we packed up to leave. Not the way we had intended to end our vacation. As we were about ready to leave, one of the guys actually said “Boy, you guys didn’t have the Camping Gods with you this trip.” What a stupid thing to say to a family who has experienced the events of the week and given that all of these events were the fault of the campground owners, not us.
Because this could have been even worse than it was given that the GFCI breakers didn’t work on the sites, that they are renting campers with no batteries in the smoke detectors and the wires didn’t appear to be up to code, the next day I contacted the Maine Dept. of Safety and spoke with an investigator named Rebecca. She took all of the details and called us back saying that they were getting an electrical inspector to join them for a safety inspection later that week. I reiterated that they just need to check the ground between campsites 12 & 13 and that they’d find the disturbed ground to inspect how the wires were repaired. I waited to post this review not wanting to tip them off to the inspection. I hope that whatever electrical issues the campground has they fix immediately to ensure guests safety. It’s a shame, because the campground is beautiful and our one week vacation that we’ll get this year had so many issues, especially ones that could have turned fatal had we all been asleep since the smoke detectors didn’t have batteries.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground is our home, passion and livelihood. We enjoy 40 acres of ocean gardens with 1/4 mile private beach. There are 125 sites...Some just for huge RVs, others for backpacking tents and most for else...Lobsters too. The campground also offers another 120 acres of wooded area with trails for hiking or mountain biking. Fishing and kayaking are also available from the campground. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground Hotel Searsport
- Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground Maine