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kcmoedoe
post Nov 27 2012, 10:29 PM
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QUOTE(outdoorfanatic @ Nov 27 2012, 09:09 PM) *

I apologize for bringing the discussion off subject. I have a question that I couldnt find an answer to anywhere else and think that the owners of campgrounds can help me out. I was wondering what all is involved in purchasing a old campground ( expectations/requirements ) if I do not plan to operate as a campground? In short, to buy a campground and just live there as if it were a small house with lots of property. There is a small campground by me with no rv spots or cabins, and has only one small building which I think could be retrofitted to a nice little home. Is this something possible or am I just crazy? Also, would the campground still sell for the asking price now or will it for some reason increase/decrease due to me not wanting to operate as a campground? Im sorry if this isnt the right forum to post. Thank you very much for your responses.

Nothing wrong with buying a piece of property because you like it. It happens all the time. People buy an old farm with no intention of getting pigs or goats. As for the price, it will sell for whatever the property is worth. There is nothing about a campground that can be taken with the seller or sold seperately to reduce the price. How you plan on using it will have no effect on the price. If it is an inactive park, with little or no business, it really doesn't have too much value over the value of the land and buildings. If you do buy it, be aware if you do not operate it as a campground, you may lose the ability to restart it in the future if it has been grandfathered in a zoning action. You also should probably check to be sure it is legal to build a home on it if it is commercial property. Finally, it may be very difficult to get a loan for the purchase. It would be considered a raw land loan by most lenders and those carry high interest rates and high down payment requirements. You won't get a 30 year mortgage at 3% interest with 3% down. If those issues are not a problem, all you need to do is reach an agreement with the seller.
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JohnTucson
post Dec 1 2012, 08:43 AM
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I've been following this thread with keen interest. Like most folks who have been full-timing for a number of years now, I'm very much interested in the issues facing RV park owners. It's good to see this type of discussion here.

So I have a question I'd like to pose to you all. I hope it's appropriate for me to be asking ... if not, by all means please do let me know.

I'm a retired software developer. I'm in the process of writing a custom RV Park Management package for a park where I've stayed several times, and I'd like to pick your brains regarding features you like to see in your park management software.

Are there special features you particularly like? What are some things I should avoid? What things do you like/dislike about the package you use?

I should also say that it's my intention, if this first package works out well, to offer it to other parks where I stay, perhaps bartering it for space rental (since that's what I'd be spending the money on anyway!). Thanks a million for your input.
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kcmoedoe
post Dec 2 2012, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE(JohnTucson @ Dec 1 2012, 08:43 AM) *

I've been following this thread with keen interest. Like most folks who have been full-timing for a number of years now, I'm very much interested in the issues facing RV park owners. It's good to see this type of discussion here.

So I have a question I'd like to pose to you all. I hope it's appropriate for me to be asking ... if not, by all means please do let me know.

I'm a retired software developer. I'm in the process of writing a custom RV Park Management package for a park where I've stayed several times, and I'd like to pick your brains regarding features you like to see in your park management software.

Are there special features you particularly like? What are some things I should avoid? What things do you like/dislike about the package you use?

I should also say that it's my intention, if this first package works out well, to offer it to other parks where I stay, perhaps bartering it for space rental (since that's what I'd be spending the money on anyway!). Thanks a million for your input.

You could check out Campground Master software's free demo. You can locate it on line. Curious as too what you are finding is missing from the software systems that are currently available?
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Just Jack
post Dec 19 2012, 02:26 PM
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I read 90% of this tread and came across one thing that was not mentioned at all, costumer service. I own a small park, nothing fancy, but we have great costumer service and the park is clean. And we get nothing but great rating on this site. We have the highest rates among 6 other parks in the immediate area that may have more amenities but they have no customer service skills and the parks are full of full timers and a mess. If you are going to have full timers make it a mobile home park so RV'ers don't have to see the mess. Most park owners don't know the first thing about costumer service.
After several years in the hotel business in a very competitive market place and a border line product to sell we ran at 100% occupancy because of customer service and a clean property.
We RV 1/2 the year and stay in best rated parks only. Many of the parks are not fancy but I see how they get the ratings, customer service and they are clean and neat. There is no excuse for a park not being clean.
Just a comment about electric. I have calculated the cost of electric for 3 years now, as a cost per occupied space per night. It has gone from $2.97 per night to almost $4 a night. We don't meter the spaces but owner should know what it costs. The rigs get bigger with more and more things to run.
Well all for now...
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RLM
post Jan 11 2013, 11:42 AM
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I am not a park owner, but as a frequent customer I'd like to provide a suggestion for those that are. When looking for a nice park to stay at, all to often, I find that the website does not list GPS coordinates for the campground and rarely does one have a Google Map insert. Occasionally, I even have to go hunting for the address; which, I would think should always be on the home page.

The use of GPS devices and smartphone that have that app is common place now days. Please make it easy to do use them and find your location.
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willranless
post Nov 18 2013, 05:46 PM
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This is for parks that are open year-round that have problems with broken pipes when it freezes. I have used a product for the past two years that prevents pipes from bursting if they freeze. Since installing the product, I have not had any broken pipes due to cold weather. Here is the link to the product. http://www.iceloc.com/ I do not have any interest, financial or otherwise in this company. I just wanted to share it so others would know about it.
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noisy
post Feb 3 2014, 05:19 PM
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Monthly Guests

Any park owners with monthly guests - I'd be curious to know if you bill them every 30 days based on when they began their stay, or have you pro-rated them at some point and converted them all to the same billing day each month?

We're buying a small park and half the guests are monthly. Right now, they're all billed on whatever day they initially arrived, which means reading electric meters and doing billing several times each month. Seems unnecessarily complicated.
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puddleduck
post Feb 3 2014, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE(noisy @ Feb 3 2014, 06:19 PM) *

Monthly Guests

Any park owners with monthly guests - I'd be curious to know if you bill them every 30 days based on when they began their stay, or have you pro-rated them at some point and converted them all to the same billing day each month?

We're buying a small park and half the guests are monthly. Right now, they're all billed on whatever day they initially arrived, which means reading electric meters and doing billing several times each month. Seems unnecessarily complicated.


We bill our monthlies and electric once a month and just prorate late arrivals or early departures

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dalsgal
post Feb 3 2014, 06:39 PM
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We bill ours on a monthly basis depending on when they moved in. I read their meter when they park and again the day their rent is due. This way we don't have everyone coming in to pay rent at the same time. It is much easier for me that way.
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Don-in-GA
post Feb 6 2014, 08:09 PM
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We also figure our monthly due dates from the date they move in, not the first of the month. It spreads out the work load. Never had a customer complain from that method. We meter each site.
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VicG
post Mar 2 2014, 03:10 PM
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QUOTE(Just Jack @ Dec 19 2012, 12:26 PM) *

I read 90% of this tread and came across one thing that was not mentioned at all, costumer service. I own a small park, nothing fancy, but we have great costumer service and the park is clean. And we get nothing but great rating on this site. We have the highest rates among 6 other parks in the immediate area that may have more amenities but they have no customer service skills and the parks are full of full timers and a mess. If you are going to have full timers make it a mobile home park so RV'ers don't have to see the mess. Most park owners don't know the first thing about costumer service.
After several years in the hotel business in a very competitive market place and a border line product to sell we ran at 100% occupancy because of customer service and a clean property.
We RV 1/2 the year and stay in best rated parks only. Many of the parks are not fancy but I see how they get the ratings, customer service and they are clean and neat. There is no excuse for a park not being clean.
Just a comment about electric. I have calculated the cost of electric for 3 years now, as a cost per occupied space per night. It has gone from $2.97 per night to almost $4 a night. We don't meter the spaces but owner should know what it costs. The rigs get bigger with more and more things to run.
Well all for now...

As an RV owner that has spent a lot of time traveling in my RV over the past 15 years I'd have to agree with Just Jack. The thing is with today's technology and especially the smart phone it's easy than ever to find very up to date information and reviews on virtually every RV park and campground in the US and Canada.
I will going full time very soon and will rely heavily on online reviews including reviews from a couple of smart phone apps. Here's what I'll be looking for: Great customer service, Clean park and facilities, and Fast and free Wi-Fi.
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SASMITH
post Apr 7 2014, 06:09 PM
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Need input on installing power meters in our park.

We have a small park in middle Ga. which caters to extended stay(monthly) rv'ers. With the excessively harsh winter we have had, our power bill has gone through the roof. Am sure it is due partly that guests are using electric space heaters. We encourage guests to use their gas or Aqua hots systems to help keep costs down, but you know how that goes. Am thinking the only fair way to handle this is to install meters on all sites.

That being said, the questions I have are: 1) What is power cost per day or month per RV? 2) Should we reduce the standard rates and add the power used per month to each site? Or leave the rates the same and charge extra to each site that goes over a set amount of power?

Noticed that someone on this forum stated usage of around 750 watts, and another that said cost are approximately $3-$4 per day.

Any info you can share on this would be appreciated.
Thanks, Gr'Andy'
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Denali
post Apr 7 2014, 07:43 PM
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Costs vary not only by usage, but by your local utility rates, of course.

We spend the summers in Coos Bay, OR, where the electric rates are $.10-.11/kWh. We have stayed at parks in AZ that charge anywhere from $.08 to $.22/kWh. We spend part of the year at a park in California, where the rates are tiered, and we hit $.35/kWh part of each billing cycle there.

I occasionally check our electric uses in parks where there is metered power, and it varies from 25 to 60 kWh per day. We generally use our heat pumps for heat and aren't shy about using our air conditioners for cooling. We leave the electric element on the Aqua-Hot turned on all the time.

You probably know that almost no parks charge for electricity when customers pay the daily rate, and it is very common to pay for your own power when getting a weekly or monthly rate.

Hope that helps.


--------------------
Dave Rudisill
Fulltimer since 2002
2004 Beaver Monterey
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dalsgal
post Apr 7 2014, 07:44 PM
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We have metered sites for permanent residents but don't charge extra for overnight guests. It would be very difficult to estimate how much power an RV uses. We have some here that have a monthly bill of $30-$40 a month and one or two that use almost $200. The size, age and type of RV makes a difference. Also, the number of people in the RV can make the costs vary. People do tend to be less wasteful of their electricity if they are paying the bill. When the owners here put in the individual meters they dropped the rate by $60 a month. Because another CG in our area charges a flat rate people tend to like it better. To be honest, with the rates they charge I don't see how they make any money in the summer. Some places we stayed gave so much free electric and then charged for anything over that amount.
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pianotuna
post Apr 7 2014, 11:03 PM
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Hi,

On a "worst case" basis a 30 amp service can burn through about 86.4 kwh per day.

A 50 amp would be worst case 288 kwh per day.

During the worst of the winter in Regina it was -37 C (-34 f). I used about 90 kwh per day.


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Regards,

Don
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