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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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Tikijenn
post Mar 16 2009, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Mar 15 2009, 12:56 PM) *

Tikijenn, it is obvious you use the wifi service when you are at a campground. You don't care if the campground has raised the price a "couple of dollars" to provide the service because it is something you want. Would you feel the same if your favorite campground told you they were raising their price $2.00 to pay for something you do not use? I am in the midst of my busy reservation season and everyone asks what is included in my site fees. I tell them all my sites are full hookup, water sewer, electricity, cable TV and wifi. At least 20% ask if they can get a discount because they don't use all those services. They don't have a computer, they don't need cable tv, they only have a popup and don't need sewer, and on and on. A significant percentage of these people choose not to stay at my park, not because the cost is more than any nearby parks, but they feel they should not be paying for something they will not use. It is a mental issue, not a financial one. You need to look back at some of my other posts, Wifi is not inexpensive to provide. It is one of my biggest costs and without a doubt my biggest headache.

I honestly have not used wifi service when camping. But, I feel like it makes a campground more "cutting edge" if they provide it and that makes it worthwhile because of the message that it sends to the consumer. When picking a c/g I usually look to see what all they provide because it tells me that the owner is willing to keep their park up to par. And, yes, there are people out there that will look for a discount or coupon for everything that they purchase and they feel they would be doing themselves an injustice if they didn't try to negotiate the price. You are right that it is a mental issue more than a financial one. I guess I should go check out your other posts before commenting any further. But, this is just what I feel as a consumer.
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nomad27
post Mar 30 2009, 04:17 PM
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In this age of technology, WiFi is almost a must, especially when my granddaughter is with us - she is lost without her computer biggrin.gif

I don't mind paying a small one time charge for WiFi usage, a dollar or two, but I think that $10-$12 dollars a day is pretty outrageous. I use my computer daily and virtually anything you want information on can be found on the Internet. I also Moderate on an RV forum and it is quite helpful when traveling to have Internet access so I can continue this function.

nomad27
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Lindsay Richards
post Apr 7 2009, 05:45 PM
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I just got thru paying $12.95 for 3 days of WiFi service. The ad says “WiFi available” which should have been a tip off to me. I really needed to do some computer stuff as we hadn’t had WiFi in days. Before checking in, I checked my handheld WiFi detector and their were 3 secured and 2 open WiFi networks with different names. Well, after checking in and doing something else all afternoon, I discovered that the two different named networks (Matrix and Coach) are open only to a page to give them your $4.95/day and on up. I think this is deceptive and am not a happy camper. I am doing Passport America and saving $15/day, so I guess I am still ahead, but I wish people would make it very clear what the deal is in advance. I guess I am just mad that I feel like I was either tricked or I was stupid. Probably both I guess.


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DXSMac
post Apr 7 2009, 06:04 PM
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I have been to parks where it said "WiFi Available" and it really was free!

I went to one park that had a really good compromise solution to this. Their WiFi was locked down with a code. You paid $1 to get the code. Only $1. Didn't matter how long you were going to stay. $1 for the code. Even if you were "wintering" there. That was Fair, in my opinion.

I noted this in my review of the park.

JJ


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Trentheim
post Apr 8 2009, 09:47 AM
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I gotta say that the $1 for the code thing is a good idea. As a former IT guy, keeping a network from being overloaded by anyone with a wireless access device is good. Just be sure to change the passcode on a regular basis!


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Lindsay Richards
post Apr 9 2009, 06:47 PM
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The one I referred to in the above post was an offsite company that supplies WiFi equipment and service to campgrounds all over. I was in Florida and the bill came from Portland, OR. Campgrounds can have these companies come in and set up the hardware and handle the billing with the campground receiving a cut off the top. I believe it has been said on this board that the campgrounds that own and operate their own systems will charge you at the check in and the offsite ones will handle it through a “free” welcome page and then charge your credit card online. You then get a timed user ID and password. I have noticed over the years that the term “WiFi available” usually means that you have to pay for it. We are big users of the half price camping clubs and it isn’t as bad to pay extra for WiFi, but it still irritates me that I fell for that term again. Tonight, I am staying in a campground that is legally outside of US jurisdiction (Seminole Indian reservation) which is a little strange.


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wolverine767
post Apr 26 2009, 11:03 PM
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If it costs money for the campground owner/host to run the service, I think it's fair to charge, or to cover that cost in the daily caming fee. If it's piped in for free, and they are just realying the signal, I think it should be free to the camp users.


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jan-n-john
post Apr 29 2009, 01:38 PM
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The discussion of whether WiFi should be built in or be an optional cost could go on forever. There are good arguments both ways. For that matter, same for cable TV and even phone (tho cell phones have pretty much made phone hookups obsolete anyway, and cell-based broadband will probably do the same for WiFi in a few years). I suppose you could even make the same argument for sewer hookup, since some might prefer to pay less and dump somewhere else???

Unbundling of services, such as airlines are now doing (charging extra for meals, checked bags, etc.) is fine so long as the charge is fair for those who choose to use it--those who don't choose to use it shouldn't have to subsidize those who do. I use both WiFi and cable TV most of the time. If it costs something, that's fine, but I just don't like to feel I'm being ripped off, as in $9.95 per day for WiFi that I know does or at least should cost a fraction of that.

For me, what I would like to see, in the listings on this site, is what the charge for WiFi is for each park, maybe somewhere under the "hookups list." That would be a really nice addition to the information presented here, since one would know what he's getting himself into before calling. These days so many people have computers with them and would value that information that it seems reasonable to include it if it's possible to do so.

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campNout
post May 10 2009, 10:04 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jul 22 2008, 09:27 PM) *

The most expensive rate for Wi Fi was $15/day or $2.45 for 2 consecutive hours at Kentucky Horst Park, the second most expensive was in Myrtle Beach which was $10/day.

Wow, this is highway robbery. I still don't have a handle on how much WiFi actually costs the campground owner. The estimates we have seen both here and with my talks to many campground owners has varied so much and I am still confused. I don't think people are fibbing to me, but it just doesn't make sense. I am still hoping for that the new WiMax (or whatever it is called) will be taking over. I have been hearing for years that Wal-Mart is going to have an antenna on each of their roofs with a 30 mile radius. That will solve a lot of these problems.


I am the owner of a small park. Last year I tried to get wifi hooked up so I could give it to our guests free, well may be not free we were going to increase the rate $2.00 a day. I purchased the router that the phone company said I needed for them to hook it up. When the Tech. came to do it he said "It will not work as the signal would not go more than 150 feet 200 at most. Router still in box. I read every thing I could HOW to install my self but being one woman I didn't think I could do it. Antenna's on the roof etc.

This year I emailed every wifi company on line. Finally found one. $2200.00 for them to come and install, $10.00 a month to them to maintain the site and they get ALL the profit but 10%. I now have to pay $50.00 additional to the phone company for the higher speed and an IP Address. So my cost is $2200.00 up front and $60.00 a month. I am going to have them charge the lowest price possible. I do not want them to charge MORE than $3.00 per day, $15.00 a week or $30.00 a month. I will try and get it lower if I can. I don't get any thing out of it so the lower price the better as may be campers will stay with us and not be up set over rates.

We are a small park and have very low rates compared to some in the area. I think Campers should look at the whole picture. A 40 foot MH with 50 amp. service, electric water heater, dryer and 2 A/C's can use over $12.00 a day in power. (our power is .15 a kw) by the time the park pays the power and city water, cable tv and maintenance, and Insurance there is not a lot left. The only way I can give the wifi free is to raise the rate per day to ever what the wifi company is going to charge. A park up the road from us has free wifi but their rate is $85.00 per night . We want to do our best for our guests but it is hard some times to know which way to take. If I go up and someone does not want wifi they are paying more for those that do.
HELP me out here what is the BEST for ALL.
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pianotuna
post May 12 2009, 02:31 PM
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Hi campNout,

I would not go to a commercial reseller. Folks hate that! (or at least I do).

I would start with a wifi router in the office, and place a picnic table in a shaded area beside the office. If there is a power outlet near the table that would be a bonus.

My next "upgrade" would be a 15 db omni directional antenna to be placed on the side of the office building that faces the campsites. Do use a step ladder to gain "height" when installing the antenna. Wifi signals are very low power--so the antenna needs to be above the roof line of the tallest RV that will fit in your park. If the antenna is not high enough then the closest RVs will create a radio "shadow" blocking the rest of the campers from receiving a signal. Line of site is one term that is used--if you can see the farthest site from the antenna--then there is a good chance of getting enough signal to blanket the park with a wifi signal.

My next "upgrade" would be a amplifier for the wifi signal to be placed between the router and the omni directional antenna.

What are the dimensions of your park?

I have a 15 db antenna and have connected successfully to wifi at a distance 4500 feet.

QUOTE(campNout @ May 10 2009, 10:04 PM) *

I am the owner of a small park. Last year I tried to get wifi hooked up so I could give it to our guests free, well may be not free we were going to increase the rate $2.00 a day. I purchased the router that the phone company said I needed for them to hook it up. When the Tech. came to do it he said "It will not work as the signal would not go more than 150 feet 200 at most. Router still in box. I read every thing I could HOW to install my self but being one woman I didn't think I could do it. Antenna's on the roof etc.

This year I emailed every wifi company on line. Finally found one. $2200.00 for them to come and install, $10.00 a month to them to maintain the site and they get ALL the profit but 10%. I now have to pay $50.00 additional to the phone company for the higher speed and an IP Address. So my cost is $2200.00 up front and $60.00 a month. I am going to have them charge the lowest price possible. I do not want them to charge MORE than $3.00 per day, $15.00 a week or $30.00 a month. I will try and get it lower if I can. I don't get any thing out of it so the lower price the better as may be campers will stay with us and not be up set over rates.

We are a small park and have very low rates compared to some in the area. I think Campers should look at the whole picture. A 40 foot MH with 50 amp. service, electric water heater, dryer and 2 A/C's can use over $12.00 a day in power. (our power is .15 a kw) by the time the park pays the power and city water, cable tv and maintenance, and Insurance there is not a lot left. The only way I can give the wifi free is to raise the rate per day to ever what the wifi company is going to charge. A park up the road from us has free wifi but their rate is $85.00 per night . We want to do our best for our guests but it is hard some times to know which way to take. If I go up and someone does not want wifi they are paying more for those that do.
HELP me out here what is the BEST for ALL.



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Don
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rgatijnet
post Jun 10 2009, 05:27 PM
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All I want to know in any RV Park ad is IF the WIFI is free, or IF you have to pay for it and IF it is available on all sites. Don't just put in your ad that WIFI is available and then, when we get there, you tell us it is an additional cost or that it is available ONLY at the clubhouse or only at certain, never empty, sites. If you do that, don't be surprised if some of us turn around and find another RV park for our stay.
I certainly do not mind paying for WIFI or cable, but I want the park to be completely honest in their ad's so there are no surprises when we arrive.
On a side note, I spent the night at one RV park in MS where the park owner gave me the passwords for all of the private modems around the park. The WIFI was free, as advertised, but you were piggybacking on a private individual's service that was a semi-permanent resident. Kinda weird.
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drmcleod
post Jun 22 2009, 04:17 PM
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We just returned from a campground in NE Ohio. They offered free WiFi in their camp store. They also had available, a desktop computer with internet access for anyone who wanted to use it.

I believe that WiFi access from our camper is very convenient, but not essential. This campground was very gracious to allow us to come in and get online. Again, it didn't cost them any extra (except for the cost of a small wireless rounter which can be purchased very cheap these days).

I agree with a previous post who commented about contracted companies offering their service through campgrounds. As a customer, I too get irritated when I find that the "WiFi Available" means that I get sent to a web page which requires me to enter a cc# to pay for access. I would much rather walk to the camp store or office and get online there.

As I stated earlier in this thread, I am a business owner and since the time this thread has begun, I added free WiFi access for all of my customers. It only cost me $20 for the router and hasn't cost me an additional cent since. My patrons have expressed how much they appreciate it.

Also, the results of the survey speak volumes rolleyes.gif


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Picea Mariana
post Jun 27 2009, 11:16 PM
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I realize it costs a lot of money to setup wifi at a campground but I don't like being nickle and dimed. I can do without it and most likely would not pay extra for it but it may earn my business if a comparable campgroudn didn't have it or charged for it.
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rgatijnet
post Jul 25 2009, 12:49 PM
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At one of the parks we stayed at, the WIFI was a basic router with a repeater to amplify the signal. The owner stated that it was only available on some of his sites(approximately 50). This was a fairly inexpensive setup(he told me that the whole setup cost less than $400 for equipment plus his usual ISP charge of $45/month), installed by the owner from commercially available equipment, and it was offered for $1.00 additional per night. He made it quite clear that many of his sites did not have WIFI but if you wanted it, he had sites available for a nominal charge. I think this would be acceptable to most customers. Outside of those designated sites, you may still have been able to use the WIFI if you had your own amplifier, which I have, but IF I found out that I could receive his WIFI I would pony up the buck anyway.
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callmebruce
post Jul 29 2009, 12:00 PM
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Providing wifi has incremental costs. Certainly you can provide it for a very limited area just using a cheap wireless router and DSL or Cable. But the distance is limited - even when you go for slightly bigger antennas. I don't know about the rest of you, but my consumer quality wireless routers at home hang occasionally, drop signal, require users to reconnect, ... - it gets irritating. I work from home (telecommute) - so I need it all day long. One of my kids does an online school, so I know quickly if wireless or cable is down. Just to extend the signal in our own home and yard required puchasing better wireless cards for some of the laptops, and picking up a wireless access point to extend the signal.

I would expect a business owner to have to recoup his or her invenstment in wireless. That would be a business-quality wireless router (not a little Linksys or D-Link), business quality wireless access points in strategic locations, running connections to the access points, and testing the signal. This is not free.

Bandwidth is also not free. As more users connect, and especially if they start watching online movies or TV shows - other users will notice lags. You could deploy QOS for scertain types of traffic, but then you need to consider how you would do it, and if the campground owner had the neccessary IT skills.

Finally, if I were providing wireless Internet, I would be very concerned about visitors going to seriously bad sites. I would consider using a filtering router or firewall to filter out things that might come back to haunt me.

So - do all campers pay the extra cost of free wifi in slightly higher fees, or do the people that actually use it bear the cost of wifi. Someone has to pay, as it is not free.

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Edited to say: I should have read ALL the posts first before chiming in! WesternRVParkowner (pardon me if I got the name wrong) stated it precisely.
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