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> Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi, Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?
Should Campgrounds Charge for WiFi?
Campground WiFi should:
be Free to entice more campers to the c/g [ 295 ] ** [77.63%]
be Free in the more "deluxe" sites [ 23 ] ** [6.05%]
be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for) [ 42 ] ** [11.05%]
be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on [ 8 ] ** [2.11%]
not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home) [ 12 ] ** [3.16%]
Total Votes: 380
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DXSMac
post Sep 6 2008, 10:56 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 6 2008, 09:53 AM) *

Actually. my wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't turned it in yet as the theif is spending a lot's less than she had been spending.

Well, you are only responsible for the first $50 (but most CC companies waive that $50), so turn it in!!!!

JJ


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Lindsay Richards
post Sep 8 2008, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 6 2008, 12:56 PM) *

Well, you are only responsible for the first $50 (but most CC companies waive that $50), so turn it in!!!!

JJ



I was trying to be funny there.


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DXSMac
post Sep 8 2008, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 8 2008, 06:57 AM) *

I was trying to be funny there.


SORRY! I guess I was in a weird mood and didn't catch your humor.

JJ smile.gif


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Doraville
post Sep 16 2008, 06:03 AM
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I think that WiFi has become as important as power, water, and sewage. We have fresh water tanks, grey water tanks, and even batteries and generators. We can get by for short stays without any hook-ups, but no internet hook-up is a major inconvenience.

During a recent 8 week trip out west, my observation was that 99% of the private campgrounds offer free WiFi. Only about 10% had adequate equipment to provide a reliable signal at each site. The WiFi usually does work near the office, but this requires you to go hang around the office in your Winnie the Pooh pajamas.

I finally got fed up and bought a high gain directional antenna and amplifier. This requires extra set-up at each stop, but improved my ability to connect from my camper to about 80% of the time.

The best way to encourage the campgrounds to upgrade their equipment is to mention how good their WiFi service was (or wasn't) in your reviews on this site. I try to mention it on all my reviews.
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westernrvparkowner
post Sep 16 2008, 11:28 AM
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I own a medium sized RV park and include wifi access in my site fee. That being said, it is not free. My rates were adjusted to include my extra expenses. Some posters have suggested that "hanging a router in the window" will cover all a parks wifi needs. That is simply not true. Parks that take this approach are the parks that you can only connect near the office, or have a signal that comes and goes randomly. My equipment cost me several thousand dollars, not including installation and maintance. By far my biggest expense is the man hours spent on helping guests access the system. I am amazed how many people cannot operate their computers at all. I have had guests who did not understand you had to have a wireless card or modem for wifi to work. Customers have turned off the wireless modem on their machine and appeared at my door at 2 AM demanding I make the WiFi work. My equipment was recently had a security upgrade and is not compatible with Microsoft Vista unless the customer's computer has been upgraded with "Microsoft Service Pack 1" This upgrade has been out for over 6 months, but many people have not upgraded even though Microsoft considers it a "Critical Upgrade". I really don't believe I am responsible for a customer failing to keep their computers current. Also, many guests have not configured their computers to use wireless connections since all they have done is unplugged the computer from their home and lugged it onto the road. still other customers have set their security setting to allow only connection to their business LAN or have other custom security settings that prevent their system from connecting. We want our customers to be able to enjoy our wifi, but we are very leery about changing a customer's computer settings, there could be some large liability issues. Our park literally spends a minimum of an hour a day providing technical support for customer's computers. This takes us away from our work that can benefit all our guests and has us spend that time on a single guest. WiFi may be a necessity for today's RVers, but it is a NECESSARY EVIL to this campground owner.
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DXSMac
post Sep 16 2008, 11:38 AM
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QUOTE(Doraville @ Sep 16 2008, 05:03 AM) *


The best way to encourage the campgrounds to upgrade their equipment is to mention how good their WiFi service was (or wasn't) in your reviews on this site. I try to mention it on all my reviews.


Ok, but what can you do about park managers/owners who don't seem to be concerned about "open" access (the fact that people not staying in the park can access the signal, thus weighing it down and the park customers can't get in....)? The park I'm at now doesn't seem to care that non-park customers can access the signal. They can keep it free, yet lock, it down with a password.

JJ


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bikemanb
post Sep 21 2008, 09:01 PM
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I have no problem with a $1 per day fee, many campers don't use wifi, why should they subsidize my use? Wifi isn't "free", it is hiding in the site rates of those campgrounds that don't "charge" for it.

As mentioned a truly functional park wide wifi system is expensive to the park owner and then they have to deal with user connection issues.
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DXSMac
post Sep 21 2008, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE(bikemanb @ Sep 21 2008, 08:01 PM) *

I have no problem with a $1 per day fee, many campers don't use wifi, why should they subsidize my use? Wifi isn't "free", it is hiding in the site rates of those campgrounds that don't "charge" for it.

As mentioned a truly functional park wide wifi system is expensive to the park owner and then they have to deal with user connection issues.


I would be willing to pay up to $2 for wifi, or for an "instant" phone connection so I can use dial up if I have to. More than that, to me, is a ripoff.

I'm at an RV park now, have been gone since Sep 3, I'm going home tomorrow. I don't WANT to go home! I wanna keep RV'ing!!!! WAAAHHHH!!!!! But I suppose I had better go home so I can be available when teachers start bailing..... (I substitute teach...), it helps pay for my RV'ing habit.....

JJ


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FosterImposters
post Oct 2 2008, 12:19 PM
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QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Sep 16 2008, 10:28 AM) *

... Our park literally spends a minimum of an hour a day providing technical support for customer's computers.


Got a real eye-opener on this topic when helping a Northwest US Park Owner this summer as our first 'workcamping' experience. Personally use an 'aircard' to access the internet...therefore we forgo all the WiFi hassles at every stop in the road.

Was like trying to start a fire with sticks again...helping folks get their computers to work with WiFi. And the stories they shared...! Good grief.
Felt like I was a sales rep for Verizon Air-Card at the end of the day... rolleyes.gif
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westernrvparkowner
post Oct 2 2008, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE(FosterImposters @ Oct 2 2008, 12:19 PM) *

[i][/i]

Got a real eye-opener on this topic when helping a Northwest US Park Owner this summer as our first 'workcamping' experience. Personally use an 'aircard' to access the internet...therefore we forgo all the WiFi hassles at every stop in the road.

Was like trying to start a fire with sticks again...helping folks get their computers to work with WiFi. And the stories they shared...! Good grief.
Felt like I was a sales rep for Verizon Air-Card at the end of the day... rolleyes.gif



Thanks for the confirmation that I am not alone. Bet the campground left "computer technical support" off the job description when you hired on. Hope your work camping experience was rewarding and if it was, may all your future assignments be great.
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Kirk
post Oct 2 2008, 06:17 PM
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westernrvparkowner,

Thanks for posting your experience. As one who travels with satellite internet, I cold tell you about a few also since people now frequently recognize the dish and are quite bold about asking to use my signal, and some even demand to do so. Your point is well made and some time back I started a real firestorm on this thread by having the audacity to say that I see nothing wrong with passing the cost along to those who use it by charging a fee. I would think it quite reasonable to pass on a charge for assistance beyond the very basic service, say 10 minutes at most.

Our son is a computer professional and I assure you that technical support beyond the basics is very often charged for in other industries and there is no reason why you should not be allowed to do so as well. biggrin.gif


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DXSMac
post Oct 2 2008, 07:09 PM
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Kirk, asking to use YOUR satellite signal is just plain..... RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS. You are the one paying for it. I can't believe people have been bold to do that!

JJ


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pianotuna
post Oct 4 2008, 11:10 AM
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Hi JJ,

I might offer to pay for bandwidth--but I'd certainly never "demand" that it be shared.

I leave my wifi router in my stick house "open" so that anyone can use it--but none of my neighbors do the same. I don't understand that because I don't pay for bandwidth--just for the service, and none of them pay for bandwidth either.

Perhaps that may explain why folks think Kirk should be willing to "share". They may not be aware he has to pay for ever extra "byte" over his allotment.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Oct 2 2008, 07:09 PM) *

Kirk, asking to use YOUR satellite signal is just plain..... RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS. You are the one paying for it. I can't believe people have been bold to do that!

JJ


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Just Jack
post Oct 4 2008, 02:15 PM
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[quote name='westernrvparkowner' date='Sep 16 2008, 10:28 AM' post='13217']
I own a medium sized RV park and include wifi access in my site fee. That being said, it is not free. My rates were adjusted to include my extra expenses. Some posters have suggested that "hanging a router in the window" will cover all a parks wifi needs. That is simply not true.
...........
Thank you for your further insight as a park owner.
I hadn't considered my time as a computer consultant when I set up the amount I charge for my wifi. At a $1 an hour my profit margin has increased to minus hundreds of dollars now.
Another issue that has just come up is bandwidth. With a satallite we do have limited badwidth and even though we charge for wifi, guests think it is unlimited. I don't know what they must be downloading, movies, music, porn??? But they can download gigs of material within a hour, which then shuts down the system for every one. How do I control that??

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pianotuna
post Oct 4 2008, 10:46 PM
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Hi Just Jack,

Welcome to the forum--it is very valuable to hear from the other side of the RV street!

>Another issue that has just come up is bandwidth. With a satallite we do have limited badwidth >and even though we charge for wifi, guests think it is unlimited. I don't know what they must be >downloading, movies, music, porn??? But they can download gigs of material within a hour, >which then shuts down the system for every one. How do I control that??

Limit your wifi connection to wireless B for starters. That will decrease the bandwidth that anyone can use by a factor of about five. I'm sure someone else with more technical expertize can suggest other ways to "control" abuse of the system.

In the mean time add a notice to your campground etiquette sheet that spells out the limitations of the system. Something like:

"Please be aware that our wifi system is a satellite feed with limited bandwidth. Help us provide wifi to every guest by not downloading large files or using streaming audio or video. After the daily satellite bandwidth limit is reached all of us are cut off from the internet."


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