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> New park owners want input, New park owners want input
julievojo
post Aug 30 2004, 12:14 PM
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It might be helpful if, while waiting for your park to be approved, if you rent an RV and go travel some of the parks. Find out what you like, what you don't like, etc.

One of the most important things you can do for your park is to have nice, friendly staff. We've driven away from more than one park when we find rude, crabby people working at registration. I'd rather stay overnight at a freeway wayside rest than deal with some of the Crabby people that I've met managing or working at RV parks.

Good luck!

Julie


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JULIE

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu
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RVman3252
post Sep 14 2004, 06:29 PM
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Today we all use our RV’s differently.

As much as some say leave your TV’s and laptops at home, there is no way I would. I use the laptop to keep in touch with my office, allowing more time I can travel around and still continue working. I use the laptop to stay in touch with my children and grandchildren. There is nothing better to put a smile on old grandpa, than receive a picture of my grandchildren while we are on the road. I enjoy watching the news, and if it’s a rainy day, nice to sometime put in a movie, pop some corn and snuggle with the Mrs… Now when we were going on vacation or long week-ends with our children, I had a whole different out look as to what was important to me… but as time goes by, and the children are raised, We use the 5th Wheel differently.

As far as an “overnight campground” I think it would be tough to compete with the Wal-Mart’s, Truck Stops and Road Side Rest’s with only 17 sites. People who are traveling in my opinion, are looking for a quick, easy in and out, with limited amenities. However I do think you could make money if it were a resort of some sort… providing top notch amenities and services. Going overboard… there is a certain “nitch” of people who will pay big dollars to be pampered! Morning newspapers, delivery from your restaurant, massages, WiFi, Cable TV, and anything else you can think of. Maybe I wouldn’t use a Resort like this normally, but there are those who would.

As someone else posted… if you have the availability of additional land, then there would be many avenues you could go with a new campground and make money. I hope this helps, and certainly… Thanks for asking. I think all of the suggestions are great!

RVman


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3252 K-Z Sportsmen 5th Wheel w/ 3 Slides
Dodge Ram 2500 Quad 4x4 V-10
Greenville, Ohio
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rdepas
post Sep 18 2004, 10:05 AM
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My wife, child and I are starting to make more cross country trips and are looking for "over-nighters". Only pulling a 28' Airstream so I don't need the room of the huge motor coach with quad slide-outs. One thing I would like to see is a parking area for true over-nighters that don't want to stop at a Wal-Mart. Maybe a large parking area similar to a rest stop but with security, lower lighting, and wider parking spots. Maybe a lower fee since they will probably use the dump station and maybe have electrical outlets in case the A/C is needed to sleep comfortably. Good luck and thanks for asking for input.


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jfolktns
post Sep 19 2004, 01:23 PM
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We have a 35-foot diesel motor home and have had a pop-up, travel trailer and fifth wheel in the past. Once we moved past the pop-up, we really enjoyed concrete sites. Greenery between sites is nice and can be achieved without having large over hanging trees that are difficult for class a rigs. A few sites at one end of the park designed for pop-ups -- smaller sites, but more room with trees in between--might be a good idea. But if you're catering to overnighters, you don't need to spend money on a pool, etc. Clean, easy to maneuver into sites, and good electric are the most important for overnighters.
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nvdiplomat
post Sep 26 2004, 05:44 PM
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PERIMETER SEPARATION

I read most of the replys and see that there are as many opinions as there RV'ers. So heres one more, and I don't think anyone mentioned this: the perimeter separation between the RV park and its surroundings. The park may be the best ever built but if we have to look at the back of an apartment complex, or factory, or run down homes, much is for naught.

Creating the separation is often difficult and expensive. How the separation is created will obviously have much to do the environment you are dealing with. While no specific suggestions are offered here, the advice is TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER HOW THIS SEPARATION WILL BE HANDLED.

Howard
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firesafety912
post Oct 16 2004, 04:21 PM
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One of the things I dislike is the add on charges, that are not listed in the camper book...one place asked for $1 a night extra for our dog...she is a 9 lb Dachshound..those extras not listed kinda of turn me off the campground...be up front with the customers...

Good luck
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mpj
post Oct 22 2004, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Aug 17 2004, 08:04 AM)
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.

As a campground owner: I agree with all in one pricing like a motel. We have been doing it for years and most of our campers like it. They do not like to be nickle and dimed to death. As my husband said - we make all campers honest. We used to have complainers that we should supply a/c free (because it was hot out) or cable (because the tv reception was poor), etc. We used to have to go to a camper to collect $ for a/c or cable use. Bad situations created bad feelings. We do not have that anymore. Thanks for listening. smile.gif


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Beastdriver
post Dec 6 2004, 12:02 PM
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Most of these suggestions and comments are excellent and should be helpful to you. But, of course, you've got to get people to come to your campground first. I want to share with you how we go about selecting campgrounds. We just completed our planning for next year, about a seven or eight month trip, and I thought it might be helpful to you to know what we look for and how we go about finding it. We have a 40' diesel with slides and a toad, so what we look for might not be important to a pop-up camper, or a smaller travel trailer, but should be important to larger fifth wheelers, and larger travel trailers.

The first thing we do is go to the Trailer Life listings on line (yes, that Trailer Life that has the worthless rating system but does fairly accurately list most of the campgrounds in the U. S., Canada and Mexico.) We then call up every single listing anywhere near our intended route (near is defined as being within 50 miles of our route). The first thing we check for is whether or not the sites are paved, and if they are at least 55 or 60 feet long. If a campground does not have a paved site, we don't stop. We'll drive WAY out of the way to find one that has paved parking pads, and will pass by dozens of those that do not.

Next we look for hookups. If a site doesn't offer 50-amp service, we put a question mark beside it on our list. We may or may not stay there, even though it is paved, depending on what else is available.

Next, we look to see if the sites have water and sewer hookup. No water and sewer, no stays for us.

The next thing we check is the site width. If it ain't wide enough for slides and a little comfort room, then we mark it off our list.

Next, we check on side-by-side hookups. Generally, we don't like to stay at a place that has these, but we simply put a question mark on our list and may or may not stay, depending on what else is available.

Our next step is to try to determine if the park has a free wi-fi internet hookup. If it does, we put a plus by this park on our list. If it doesn't we won't mark it off because we have an internet satellite dish which we can use, depending on tree location.

Next, once we have satisfied ourselves on the paved parking pads, hookups, amperage, width, internet hookups, etc., we then go to the website of the park if it has one. We carefully review the website to see what they offer, but are particularly interested in pictures of the SITES. I get very suspicious when I see a website that has tons of pictures of people, the store, the laundromat, and so forth, but few if any pictures of their sites. This sends message to me that I probably won't like their sites. I am also suspicious of a campground that won't spend a few bucks on a website.

Once we've looked at all of the above, including the website, we make a list of choices, based on this information.

Our final step is to go the RVParkReviews and read these reviews which are the single most imporant input item we have. If everything else we've found on a location to that point looks good, but the park receives poor grades and comments on RVParkReviews, out it goes. Zip. No further consideration.

In reading RVParkReviews, as the webmaster recommends, we try to look for several reviews on each location. We don't pay much attention to reviews with inane comments such as "they were rude in the office" or "the camper next to us was noisy." We are far, far more interested in the campground in general, its amenities, and its location.

You'll note that I have not mentioned price. We are certainly not rich (far from it), but getting a cheap price for a bad campground is no bargain. Likewise, paying a bit more for an outstanding park is well worth it.

Bottom line is this: We are rarely surprised. It does happen, but not often. The only exception to this is the northeastern United States where no system is worth very much because you have so few quality parks to choose from. Everywhere else, it works fine.

So, my advice to you is this: Do all the things that are suggested herein, if possible, but then have a complete, thorough website with plenty of site photographs. Good luck! rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif
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rvingwithkids
post Dec 6 2004, 10:24 PM
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Well, I guess you could make more people happy by having one section with shade tree's and another without. I don't see much reason for the LAN (internet) plug-in jacks at each site. It's not likely that anyone's coach will be wired for it, so you might as well put phone jacks in instead. Save your WiFi equipment purchase for last as it's

My biggest complaint with most overnight parks is road noise. Please put your park far enough away from the interstate that I won't hear it all night long!
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Beastdriver
post Dec 7 2004, 10:45 AM
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TravelGuy:

I don't understand your comment about LAN plug ins at each site, and saving money on Wi-Fi. Seems to me that Wi-Fi would make expensive wiring to each site and LAN plugs at each site unnecessary and would be far, far less expensive? Am I missing something here or was it just a typo? Thanks.
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rvingwithkids
post Dec 9 2004, 08:28 PM
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That line got cut off, it should have said: Save your wifi purchase for last, as the WiFi equipment will probably be alot faster that the current technology by the time you finish construction of the campground.
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Skyewriter
post Dec 10 2004, 12:30 AM
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Lots of great suggestions out there - not really much to add. One suggestion relative to the pet walk came from my vet, who warned us about problems associated with using a "dirty walk".

The area must be routinely cleaned because all owners do not pick up after their dogs. On a regular basis the dirt or gravel must be changed as well, and lime occasionally mixed in with the soil or rock. This is necessary for a couple of reasons. Dog feces can contain bacteria that may transmit viruses to other dogs. Excessive smell may also cause some dogs to "refuse" to use the pit, thus owners have to walk them elsewhere to do their business. The problem just spreads from there, courtesy of those very few inconsiderate owners. If you're going to have a walk, guests, pets & park owners are best served in the long run if the walk is maintained in a sanitary manner. The only other option woiuld be to ban pets, but the problem with that is that you are also banning some very fine people that you would otherwise want to have in your park.
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Beastdriver
post Dec 10 2004, 08:53 AM
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Skyewriter:

Thanks for a great suggestion! Most of us had never thought of, or heard of, this problem, but, hopefully, campground owners, and pet owners, will be aware and will take steps to avoid problems.
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texaskid05
post Dec 11 2004, 11:03 AM
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I don't understand Why campgrounds charge for wireless internet either. After staying at one in Van Horn, Texas (where it is a free service) and talking with the owner a bit, He mentioned that one of his camp workers had set it up for him and it was pretty cheap, I think under 300.00 to do. And he already paid for a monthly internet service to his office anyhow and just fed the park from that. So there was no reason to charge campers for a service he already had. I wish all campground owners thought like that
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Beastdriver
post Dec 11 2004, 01:15 PM
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TexasKid:

For years, I have camaigned for RV Park owners to do like motels: One charge that covers everything instead of "bait and switch" pricing, and nickle and diming us to death. Pretty soon, we'll see basic camping charges, plus charges for use of the pool, charges for use of the bathrooms, charges for use of the showers, charges for having a pet, charges for having visitors--wait a minute--we already have charges for most of those things now that I think about it. Wi-Fi is a good example. Used to be there was a complimentary line that was dedicated for internet access and that was part of the price. Nowadays, many parks invest a very small amount in wi-fi, and charge so much they recoup their investment in a matter of weeks. Sooner or later, they'll catch on: There are too many campgrounds to choose from and too many owners who have realistic pricing for us to tolerate "add-ons" to the basic camping price. rolleyes.gif
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