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> New park owners want input, New park owners want input
John S.
post Aug 9 2004, 09:33 PM
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Let me add a few comments. We have covered a lot of the country and always look for nice parks. I would say that the Class A market is growing the fastest. Look at RV business and see the numbers. These class a's will require more and more power and space. I would run 100 amp too in addition to 50/30/20 when you put in the campground. I don't need it but some of the newer coaches will. THe need for space to enter and exit is important and most people seemed to miss that you said overnight. This would mean no ammenities and adult market so no pool or other stuff. If you want to be a resort than add those by all means vbut it is not something we are looking for when we just overnight in a park. We do want our sat. and ac and the conviences since that is why we do not go in a tent so we can take it with us. No overhanging branches and hidden rocks or things to hit and please be pleasant. I think you could make quite a good return catering to the higher end market if you set it up. Wifi is impostant for those of us that still work or want to stay in touch and a phone line to the space is ok but I have my cell so I would not use it much.

John


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compokel
post Aug 10 2004, 02:59 PM
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Wow, you certainly have gotten a lot of feedback. I'm a 38-footer with one slide and when I'm overnighting I use my shower for storage...so a clean shower is refreshing. We like a little vegetation between us and the neighbor as long as doesn't impede parking. Combo slab/grass sites are nice (and personally I like a fire pit! But that's just me.) A clean, affordable laundry room is a good idea.

But one of the most important thing is friendly, helpful staff. Much luck to you & look forward to visiting. biggrin.gif
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maggie
post Aug 11 2004, 03:02 PM
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It is nice that you, as campground owners, want input from campers!! We go to Branson every summer and will definitly stop and and check out your place.

One of the things that we look for in a campground are LOTS of trees and LOTS of shade! We are not full-timers, we are vacation and weekenders, and we prefer the camping experience rather than all concrete and no trees type of campground. We also try to stay at campgrounds that allow pets, have a pool, and clean bathrooms with showers. It doesn't matter to us if the site is gravel or concrete as long it is level with reasonable space between us and our neighbor.

Good luck!!
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MBageant
post Aug 12 2004, 03:36 PM
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Rockerpeople - we've probably scared you off of the idea of even trying to start a CG! blink.gif

We have a pop-up. Just because it's a pop-up does NOT mean we don't want FULL hook-ups. We want water, electric AND sewer. We have a shower and kitchen sink. There is no gray water holding tank in a pop-up, so the only place we can run it to, is the sewer (which CG's generally let us do). (No, don't need/want any ideas as to how to make our own gray water holding tank, guys. rolleyes.gif ) The portable tanks you can put underneath, they fill up too quickly and you have to always be worried about emptying them. Our potty is one of those self-contained. We don't have to empty it until we leave, so we stop by the dumping station on the way out (a little gift for the CG. tongue.gif )

Don't "bump" people. If someone has reserved a specific site and is paying for it, it's THEIRS!!!!! Don't tell PU people they can't have a full hook-up site because you think they don't need it.

Having a pop-up means if we are out in the hot sun, with no shade, it gets REALLY hot inside. We do have A/C, but it only helps to a point.

Don't put people right on top of each other (that seems to be the biggest pet peeve with campers).

Have an area geared more towards adults only. I don't mind people's dogs/pets being around me as long as they aren't barking constantly, or at every little noise all night long. So far we've only run into very nice, friendly, well mannered pooches. But I can see why some people would want an area with no pets.

Even with a pop-up, a pull-thru site is nice. Haven't been on one with a concrete pad yet. Have to admit, that may not "feel" like camping, but once we try it, we may like it. Have to have gravel if not concrete, obviously. Grass, trees, bushes are nice.

O.K. - cable hook-up. Hubby would love that. Only had it at one CG so far. Otherwise, he brings his SATELLITE DISH. huh.gif Funny, but since I'm an internet "junky", he likes the idea of going camping to get me away from the internet. But HE needs his cable t.v.. At this point, I don't care if there's an internet hook-up, but, I bet if there WAS one, I'd be bringing my laptop (I'd have to sneak it out after hubby has fallen asleep watching his cable t.v. ph34r.gif )

We have one of the bigger pop-ups. We also have a big truck with a crew cab. Put the two of them together, and they are a pretty long item.

SHOWERS - when we all say "clean", we mean CLEAN!!! Even a little bit of green/black in the corner grosses me out. Some places have A/C in their bathhouses too.

Laundry room - haven't had to use one yet. We've never been away that long. Just take enough clothes for the whole trip. On a longer trip, I could see needing a laundry room. Once again, nice and clean. I think also the suggestion of having more dryers is probably a good one. I've seen people complain about that too. Oh yeah, I heard someone at the last CG we were at tell the owners a FOLDING TABLE in the laundry room would be nice.

Keep the ROADS up!! Filled in with gravel, etc. (or whatever you use).

Since you say you can only have about 17 sites, I think a lot of these wishes we've all put down won't be practical. Maybe you could open up somewhere else on a much bigger piece of land! With the attitude you seem to have about the whole venture, we would definitely give you a try.

Oh yeah, even when we've had sites in the woods, hubby has always managed to get that satellite dish to pull in a signal. I was embarassed the first time he took that "camping" (it's embarassing enough having a pop-up with A/C, shower, stove, oven, microwave, slide-out, fridge, and saying I'm going "camping".) Well, the first time he took it, several different campers (all guys - but you all knew that, didn't you?) came by to ask what "reading" he was getting (satellite dish lingo). Apparently, none of them had been able to get a signal, and he was. Since then, every time he takes it, we have all these people (guys) coming over to chat about it. I was amazed at how many people have satellite dishes at CG's.. ohmy.gif Last time he spend over 2 hours trying to get that signal, so a cable t.v. hook-up would be nice too.
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dhutchins
post Aug 12 2004, 09:06 PM
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Make sure you register with www.campgroundconnections.com
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AndersonFamily
post Aug 12 2004, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for asking! We're pop-up campers too. Clean bathrooms are a big plus, so are clean and spacious showers. No concrete pads for us, just a level grassy spot with a bit of privacy, a fire ring, picnic table and some run-around room for the kids and we're set. Please sell firewood & ice. Maybe ice-cream treats too. We don't need a pool, but my kids love minature golf.

Somehow get listed on the Internet - that is how we usually pick CGs. Include lots of photos of your sites and office area. Indicate if you're near any interesting activities (museum, waterslides, hayrides, etc).

Good Luck! We need CG owners like you.
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pipelnrwife
post Aug 15 2004, 08:04 PM
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As a full-timer who travels cross country, I like the idea of an overnighter specific campground. We have a 36 ft. 5'ver with quad slides, and so much of the time when we pull in for just an over-night in order to find a big enough site we are banished to the back of a campground where the 50 amp spots are. Not convenient when we pull out at 5am the next morning, as I'm always afraid we'll wake our neighbors up.

Instant phone and wi-fi are also very helpful, since we do all our business and communication on the road. I will admit, we never use the laundry or shower since we have them on board.

A friendly and helpful office staff is a must, or the whole campground will get a lower rating from us. Sound's as if your heading in a great direction. Good Luck! Looking forward to staying with you next time we are through your area.
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lynngol
post Aug 16 2004, 01:52 PM
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When you're about to open your park, be sure you have a website up and running. This will help generate business and will help people make a determination as to whether they are your "target market". The websirte doesn't have to be fancy, but it should list your amenities, number of sites, hookups, prices, rules, credit cards, discounts, address and telephone number. You'd be surprised how many bad RV Park websites there are.


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Lowelife
post Aug 16 2004, 08:52 PM
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It sounds like the park will be very nice. My family and I are currently on a 14 day trip in Oregon and have been camping for over ten years. Remember that about 5% of all campers are full-timers and have washers/dryers. For us, the response we get at check-in is extremely important. Treat your guests like you would want to be treated (I know, very elementary but how often are you treated poorly at check-in?). Charging extra for tow vehicles, over two occupants, dogs, cable, etc. gets very old. If you want to charge for all of that, simply have your daily rate $38 (or whatever). I get very turned off when I am nickle and dimed to death. I think Wi-Fi is important and should be included in your daily rate. I am currently utilizing it in the campground I am in and it is handy. Sure, this is not really camping when you are using a laptop and checking email but it appears this is where the camping experience is taking us.

One additional suggestion, have a list of things to do in the area available at check-in. Add as many things as you can so it looks like there is a lot of stuff to do in the area. Gives people choices of things to do during the day. Maybe add in good restaurants in town (I know you are having your own--another great idea).

GOOD LUCK!
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Cheryl
post Aug 16 2004, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE
I think Wi-Fi is important and should be included in your daily rate.

I disagree. I also don't want to pay for cable. We don't take a T.V. or laptop with us, so why should we have to pay for those services. I know someone will come back and say they don't use the pool so why should they pay for it. I don't see any way to monitor that since there isn't a pool at every site. By the way, we seldom use the pool either.
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partyof5
post Aug 17 2004, 08:02 AM
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I agree with Cheryl, Wi-Fi should not be included in the daily rate. What I would want in an overnight park is easy accessible pull thru sites, laundry facilities and a fully stocked store. I also think a self serve coffee bar would be great! If we're just stopping over night I don't want to have to make coffee in the morning before we head back out......and I need my coffee! LOL Also there are more and more families RVing so having an area (open field, small playground) for the kids to run and use up some of that energy would also be nice, but not mandatory.

Good Luck!
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Beastdriver
post Aug 17 2004, 08:04 AM
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I cannot understand why the RV Park industry doesn't do like the motel industry. When you stay at a motel, you pay one flat rate, and that is it. If you do, or do not, use the air conditioner, the shower, the telephone, the cable television, the pool, the exercise room, or any other amenity, it makes no difference. The rate is the rate. Period. This concept of nickle and diming campers is very annoying and, I suspect, is really beginning to turn off campers.
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Cheryl
post Aug 17 2004, 08:17 AM
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Only the minority that forgot what a vacation really is. It is the time to "get away from it all." To relax without the hassles of work, etc. Try leaving your laptop at home next time you go. See how energized, recharged and relaxed you are when you return.
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Flintstones
post Aug 19 2004, 09:37 PM
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cool.gif Well....I understand that you're creating this park and catering to overnighters but why do the people in the big motor homes think that they are the only ones that would want that? We have a 34' 5th wheel with one slide and we like to travel with our 3 kids (10, 8, 6).

There are many times where our final destination is several days away and all we need in a place to park, eat, sleep and move on....but if we arrive at 5:00 or so after a long day in the truck it's great to have at least a playground to send the kids to so they can run off some energy. A pool to cool off would be wonderful but I wouldn't expect one in an overnight place and probably wouldn't want to bother with all the wet clothes for that short a time. I also wouldn't need the wifi (I'm on VACATION!) but my hubby does like to have cable (I could do without the TV!).

If we're only at a place overnight the pull through's are fantastic and, depending on our arrival and planned departure time, make it possible to set up without unhitching because they're usually very level and there's no need to move the truck out of the road if the site is long enough. Wouldn't really care one way or the other if there were trees and wooded sites or concrete padded sites. When we're at a cg to stay we like trees and fire rings, etc. ... but for just the night it wouldn't matter much. I will say that the trailer stays neater with the concrete pad...but no biggie.

I wouldn't think a laundry would be necessary if most of your clientele was coming and going in one night. If you really wanted to have it, get one of the newer dryers...they dry just as fast as the washers wash - and I doubt you'd need more than 2 anyway.

A small store where you could purchase, at a minimum, fresh milk and OJ, some eggs and bread and basic snack foods would be a blessing. When we travel we try to eat in the trailer at rest areas and with 3 kids a loaf of bread doesn't go far!!!

Another pet peeve of mine is cg's that charge one rate for a family which THEY decide is 2 adults with 2 children under 18. I HATE seeing a charge for "Extra Child". I do not have an Extra Child....I have the three children I was intended to have. If I was bringing one of my children's friends or a nephew, etc., I would not only not MIND paying for that child as an extra, I would expect to. But not for my own kids
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96dutchmen
post Aug 21 2004, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for asking. I'm another popup owner. My kids are grown and don't travel with us, but my wife and I always travel with two dogs. Most of the things we look for have been covered in the earlier posts, especially the ones from popup and dog owners. I'll just emphasize three things.

First, most of our trips are at least a week long, so we really are interested in having laundry facilities at the campground; but if you're going to have them, please keep them repaired. Second, please remember that popups have thin walls -- noise is a killer for us. If you're near a highway or railroad, plant some bushes for a sound barrier. Finally, as someone pointed out earlier, don't assume that the popup guys don't need shade or full services and don't assume that they're all weekenders. Many campgrounds cram in a few tiny bare sites for their popup customers -- when I see that, I go elsewhere (by the way, I don't mind paying the higher price for a full site).

You're probably overwhelmed with all the "help" you've gotten here. Hopefully some of it will be of use. You obviously care what campers think and that will go a long way toward making your place a great one. I live in SEMO and come up your way every now and then. I look forward to seeing your campground.
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