Mar 31 2004, 08:37 PM
We are in the process of building an overnight park in Marshfield, MO, which is on I-44. Construction has not started yet as we are awaiting the approving wave of the city fathers. We will have only 17 sites due to land limitations. Since we are close to Springfield and Branson, we thought the overnight aspect might just work. We plan to make the park as user friendly as possible and would appreciate info from RV veterans on what they want and need. We did hire a consutling firm that done a great job on layout. This helped a lot since they knew all the turning radius of the big rigs, the pad widths, and lots of other things we hadn't thought of. So far, we plan on 20, 30, & 50 amp service, free wireless and plug-in internet at each site, cable hookups, phone at each site, handicap accessible shower in each restroom, pool, restaurant (Mexican and very good), concete pads and roads, pull throughs and back-ins, laundromat, and pet area. Any input you folks out there might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Terry Evans, Evans' RVExpress
Mar 31 2004, 09:48 PM
If full hook-ups were available, I wouldn't use the shower house as our RV has it's own shower. I would recommend a small laundromat and cable tv hookup. Good luck on your business venture.
Apr 1 2004, 09:01 AM
First of all, thanks for asking. If more RV park owners got input from the users, we'd all be a bunch happier!
I will address your question from the standpoint of a big rig owner. Others might have different priorities.
First, you indicated that you would be offering paved pads. I hope you mean the area where the RV is parked, and not just the patio area. Paving is important.
Secondly, please plant the bushes and small trees during the landscaping part so that they don't get in the way of trying to ingress and egress the site.
Thirdly, more and more folks are getting satellite dishes. Please bear that in mind when determing the retention and/or placement of trees.
Fourthly, please make the sites are wide enough so that, when your slideouts or awnings are out, you are not in your neighbor's face.
Fifthly, please provide a dog walk that is centrally located and convenient.
Sounds like you've adressed the other issues, turning radius, etc., etc.
You should have an excellent park, and we look forward to visiting it.
Apr 1 2004, 02:27 PM
Sounds like you're on the right track. For overnight use, we like LONG pullthroughs. 70' plus! Makes it much easier. Nice for you to offer wifi, cable, etc. I second the note about thinking about your bushes and trees. Also, keep in mind that there are lots more quad slides now, so width of space needs to be addressed carefully. Good luck!
Apr 8 2004, 09:16 PM
You are definitely a breath of fresh air! We have been fulltiming since 1995 or there abouts and have witnessed the decline of friendliness in RV owners firsthand. Because you are stressing what an RVer wants, I hope you also achieve financial success in your endeavor and a new trend starts. WiFi and clean showers are important to me (Don't like all the humidity in my rig from showering), while cable TV and a laundromat are important to the little woman. Good luck and hope to visit you someday,
Apr 9 2004, 06:36 AM
Great that you are doing research on what it takes to please us campers. However I suggest you do some financial research pronto. With only 17 sites (and as deluxe as discussed) this project cannot be economicaly good unless you are just doing this as a hobby.
Apr 20 2004, 10:54 PM
Been RVing fulltime for the past 11 years, so here is my input.
Please do NOT put rocks or rock gardens or any posts, obstacles or fire hydrants near or beneath bushes where we cannot see them or anywhere at the front of the property where we could cut a corner and hit them. Gravel at turning points in the driveway is best - not grass at entry. We don't like to mess up property. Likewise, if you plan on trees, make them near your office and shorter slow-growing trees/bushes near the sites. Don't plant trees where slideouts will eventually hit them in years to come. Think QUAD! We all have satelllites these days and need a view of the SOUTHERN sky. Most campgrounds don't trim their trees. This is a problem. Plan on a wide entry gate if you are putting one in. Security is important to most of us. We don't like scraping or pinstriping coaches that are nearly a MIL. Tight turns are not welcome, nor is traversing the entire park to get to our site. We like quick pull-in's, and we search for wide streets for EZ access to the site. Wide and long pullthrough sites are recommended. Paved streets keep down the dust as the big diesels raise a lot of dust!...and choke out your other guests when going through the park. There should be adequate room for towed cars to be parked next to or in front or rear of the RV without overhanging into the street. Nothing irritates more than to see trucks and cars overhanging the streets and RV's having to ask them to be moved out of the way.
Pets: I have them but here is a good rule of thumb to curb those who do NOT pick up after their pets. Give them a plastic bag and a goodie at registration, then tell them that if they are walking the dog that management could stop them and ask to see their "baggie", -- and if they don't have one, that they could be fined or evicted rom the park. This works. There are a lot of vacationers out there who don't realize or observe the pet pickup rules. They should be fined or asked to leave. If I can pick up - so can they. Pets are serious business. Some people want to ban pets - and we pet owners do not want to see that happen.
When I rent a property, that property is my territory and people or children should be told not to "walk over and through". (in the rules)
Ammenities: Keep in mind a SMALL laundramat as most rigs these days have washers and dryers in them and we don't need a laundramat. If we do - we can go to one in town. Keep in mind that those in big rigs are fully self-contained and don't need a lot of showers. Rarely do I go there. Don't need. Most of us use our rig. Yes, WIFI is important or a modem desk, but phone lines at the site are very welcome! You are thinking in the right direction. Oh, and we love grassy, well kept sites.
I think you have the idea. You sound like you will have a great facility-- but now for the fee? Can I afford it?
Is it going to be reasonable or a high-end resort? Some campgrounds are pricing themselves right out of the business and many of us are looking to the alternatives in parking. We don't like paying for ammenities that we do not use, esp. in the off-season when we cannot use a pool, tennis court, etc.
Apr 21 2004, 08:33 AM
I don't agree on the previous post about the laundromat being small. We don't all have washers and dryers in our campers and would like to have a nice place to do our laundry and do not want to go to town. Where are the laundromat's in town (the worst areas of town). I don't want to drag all my laundry in a car and back (bad idea). I do agree about the wide entries and some of the units are hard to maneuver in tight spots. No fences, bushes, trees near the road to cause problems turning. Also rates are usually lower in the off season when you cannot use the pool, etc, but I agree some are pricing theirselves out of business. At the beach in the summer, the rates are horrible, but off season they are reasonable. If you camp full time, you can go anytime, but people with children want the summer months. We try to go when there aren't as many children as our's are grown and we are over it! Like the nice quiet campgrounds after school starts.
May 2 2004, 03:34 PM
First of all remember that you are never going to please everbody ALL the time. It sounds like you are looking for only the big rigs and that is ok but you should realize that many campers enjoy their older Class A's, vans, ClassC's. popups and tents. These people don't need 50 amp, telephones, individual internet connections or huge sites. Have a different fee schedule and save yourself some bucks on the what is not neccasary and make more people happy.
May 31 2004, 06:40 PM
I and my husband are 40-50 yrs old, travel on short trips regularly, 32' southwind with a tow car, soon to be a 40' MCI with a tow car, and here's what we look for in a park: the obvious. . .long pull throughs, concrete parking pads (more important than concrete patio area by far), some grass, some quiet, sewer, water, & electric, preferably 50 amp, and if I were going to set up a park, I would have a seperate pet area and make people use it, (one campground we stayed in, a man two doors down came over to the drivers side of our unit with his dog to do his thing, I guess thinking we wouldn't notice it because it wasn't right outside our door! What a slob!).
I would think it would be a lot cheaper to cater to adults than to have a pool and such for kids, but if you wanted to, you could have the pool and playground to one end and leave us, who want peace and quiet, on the other end!(I have 3 sons, barely grown, whom I love, but some people's kids. . .well. . .you know what I mean!) A small laundry room is always nice, because even with our big bus, we won't waste space w/laundry facilities. Personally, I use a Voicestream wireless card for my laptop, $29.00/month for unlimited usage, so I don't need wi-fi or anything, but I would agree that access to plug in to the phone line to use a toll-free number would be important to many. I don't mind paying $20-25/night if it's a nice, clean, green campground, but I like the discounts where you save $$$ if you stay longer!
Who doesn't? Be friendly
. . .you'd be surprised how many people complain about crabby park hosts!
Jun 2 2004, 06:21 PM
One of the previous posts said that you can't please everyone, and that is especially true with campgrounds. Some of the suggestions mentioned above describe the kind of "RV Hell" that we avoid. No trees? Concrete Pads? If I wanted that, I'd save my money and camp at Wal Mart. We want lots of big shade trees. The more the better to reduce our view of the other campsites. We could care less about cable, telephone, WI-FI, and all that. We have that at home. We don't have a TV in our camper, because if we wanted all the comforts of home, we'd either stay home or go to a hotel. We look for sites that are as far apart as possible, with lots of shade, a table and fire pit. "Seasonal" trailers are a big negative; they give you the feeling that you just rented a space at a trailer park. The facilities should be clean and in good repair, and above all else, the staff friendly.
Jun 2 2004, 06:40 PM
The previous post from "Camper Bob" is true when it comes to people who are looking for a "campground." Most of us are looking for an RV Park, and we like concrete parking pads, no trees, plenty of turn room 50 amps, and so forth. I guess, if you are building a new RV park, you have to decide what market you are going after, the older, smaller RVs, and those who like pop ups and tents, or the newer, bigger big rigs.
Jun 3 2004, 08:28 AM
I guess, if you are building a new RV park, you have to decide what market you are going after, the older, smaller RVs, and those who like pop ups and tents, or the newer, bigger big rigs.
And then there are some of us who fall between. We have a 34' 5th wheel and like concrete pads under it, lots of turn room and 50 amp, however, we don't bring a TV or computer along. We prefer to enjoy the scenery and activities and the relaxation of where ever we choose to visit. We can watch TV at home anytime. As for the computer, the email will still be there when we get back. A laundromat is needed. We go for 3 weeks at a time and have to wash clothes halfway through. And I agree that a FRIENDLY staff is the most important feature.
Jun 4 2004, 04:28 PM
I agree with the post about deciding what market you are trying to cater to. The poster with the million dollar rig apparently isn't aware that he/she are certainly not typical RVers, but if you are catering to the luxury coach market then his remarks are right on target. If you are targeting family RVers then he/she would likely not be happy in your campground.
So it might help if you clarified from your business plan what your focus will be. Anything less than 30 ft. wide pads is too tight for our comfort zone, our slides and our awning. The laundry should have twice as many dryers as washers because it takes longer to dry and you end up waiting for the dryers with a pile of wet laundry. I use a wireless card on my pc but I think for the current time there are still many rvers who need and want a dial up jack to connect their laptop.
I'll tell you the one interesting innovation I saw in a campground once, the young couple that had just bought it came up with the idea of an RV Supersite. At the end of a row, it had a fenced in patio area with lighting, a nicer picnic table and chairs and a hot tub in the corner. A full grown tree shaded it as well. The fence could be locked while the Rver was off site to keep it private. It was set up so that there was a concrete pad on the outside the fence for the length of an Rv as well. While it was too pricey for this ordinary camper, it was rarely empty the two weeks we were there as any number of luxury RV's used it and paid almost double a night for it.
I think it would be nice if Rvers' could choose from an inexpensive basic pad with minimal to no hookups for an overnite all the way to a luxury site for top dollar. Hotels have many levels of service and amenities for different prices, I think a new RV park might be able to figure that out in some way as well. When I don't need something I'd like to pay less. When I want it all I expect to pay more.
Aug 9 2004, 12:22 PM
I agree you aren't going to make everyone happy ALL the time. I can tell you of some of the experiences we've had and hope to avoid.
This is our first year with a pop-up trailer. We like to 'camp'. We take our crew with us to include two girls (15, 11) plus a friend each and the house pet ( a great big 75.5 lb black lab).
We ususally like the standard water/30 amp and we're set. We are weekenders so that's plenty for us. Husband likes a pull through and a nice level ground, makes pulling in and setting up quick and easy for him.
I like lot of trees so you can't see your neighbors as soon as they step out of their tent/trailer. We stayed at one place and their sewer lines were under our picnic table. ( not very nice) I had to hang sheets up on a clothes line just for some privacy while we were eating.
Also, the standard pool, mini golf and game room for the kids to hang out. I also agree with one of the previous posts to keep that in one area of the cg. Give people the choice of whether or not to stay close.
Nice CLEAN bathrooms are a MUST. We stayed at one cg and I was a little disheartened by the state of the facilities. There were so many seasonal people staying there I didn't feel as though they catered to the weekenders too much.
I also agree with the idea of making it mandatory for dog clean up. We are VERY considerate of our neighbors when it comes to our dog. She is very good and we would like to keep taking her with us. Bag checks are a great idea.
Finally, since we are weekend campers I think it might be a good idea to have all the transient campers together. I don't like going to a cg and being right in the middle of seasonal people. I don't like to feel like I'm in a trailer park.
So far this year we have been to 5 cg and are having an absolute blast. We love camping and have met many different types of people. Almost all of the campers we have met have been extremely nice. They have all said hello and some even helped the husband back up our first trip with the pop-up. We hope that trend will continue and we wish all happy camping.
Aug 9 2004, 09:33 PM
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.
Aug 10 2004, 02:59 PM
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.
Aug 11 2004, 03:02 PM
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.
Aug 12 2004, 03:36 PM
- we've probably scared you off of the idea of even trying to start a CG!
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.
) 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.
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.
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.
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..
Last time he spend over 2 hours trying to get that signal, so a cable t.v. hook-up would be nice too.
Aug 12 2004, 09:06 PM
Make sure you register with www.campgroundconnections.com
Aug 12 2004, 11:24 PM
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.
Aug 15 2004, 08:04 PM
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.
Aug 16 2004, 01:52 PM
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.
Aug 16 2004, 08:52 PM
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).
Aug 16 2004, 10:18 PM
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.
Aug 17 2004, 08:02 AM
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.
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.
Aug 17 2004, 08:17 AM
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.
Aug 19 2004, 09:37 PM
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
Aug 21 2004, 12:02 PM
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.
Aug 30 2004, 12:14 PM
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.
Sep 14 2004, 06:29 PM
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!
Sep 18 2004, 10:05 AM
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.
Sep 19 2004, 01:23 PM
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.
Sep 26 2004, 05:44 PM
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.
Oct 16 2004, 04:21 PM
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...
Oct 22 2004, 07:41 PM
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.
Dec 6 2004, 12:02 PM
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!
Dec 6 2004, 10:24 PM
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!
Dec 7 2004, 10:45 AM
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.
Dec 9 2004, 08:28 PM
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.
Dec 10 2004, 12:30 AM
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.
Dec 10 2004, 08:53 AM
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.
Dec 11 2004, 11:03 AM
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
Dec 11 2004, 01:15 PM
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.
Jan 31 2005, 09:16 PM
We're just getting into RVing, but we have definite requirements. First and foremost, the staff must be friendly and helpful. Next, the CG must be clean -- everywhere, including the doggie area. Since you indicated you'll cater to the overnight crowd, pull-throughs big enough to drive into, not unhook, and simply roll out the next day are essential.
I completely agree that a flat fee is best. I may/may not use a laundry, the showers, WiFi, cable TV, or phone hookups, but I don't mind paying for it, anymore than I do at a hotel. I'm frugal, but not cheap...
What else? Full hookups, space to sit outside without being underneath the next RV, not being underneath the aircraft approach/departure zone, and not right beside the interstate. I stopped to get some rest, not to hear airport and road noise.
Other than that, we're not real picky....
Mar 2 2005, 06:23 PM
Did you ever get the campground built & Opened?
Mar 17 2005, 01:57 PM
I think the other comments are very good suggestions. I am sure you did a cost comparison of the start up of a camp ground. It sounds like your trying to make the park very accessible by using alot of concreate. You might find the perfect nitch of people that only want to stay one night, and don't care for all the ammenities. The only thing I could add is, keep it simple if you only want a over night CG. Owners that go over board want to re-coup their investments in 2-3 years and end up losing in the end by overcharging in the begining. You may want to use gravel or black top at first, then concreate later on, as concreate is very expensive. Blacktop can hold the weight of the big rigs as long as they are moving, so use concreate next to the store and check-in. Well thats my $.02 and good luck.
P.S. Put a posting on here when your up and running
so we can drop by.
Mar 19 2005, 07:42 PM
A good laundry really is a plus. And, please have more dryers than washers. From 25 years of camping, I think that most laundries need from 50% to double the number of dryers than washers. Many people today use a low heat delicate cycle on todays dryers and some washers can do 3 loads while 1 load is drying.
And the free WIFI would be a big plus. Same for cheap wifi. We just spent one night at a park that had wifi, but the minimum purchase was one month at about $20. Even $2 or $3 dollars a day beats those that try to get $3.95 per hour or $5.95 per day. You do need some wide sites for those that have slide-outs on each side. These people should be willing to pay more for a wider site. I don't ever envision having a rig with slideouts on both sides. To tight in too many places.
May 29 2005, 08:45 PM
Hi to all posters, especially to those who answered our posting looking for information from RV owners on what they would like in a new park. We took quite a lot of your information to heart and used it to design our park, put together park rules, and to add the amenities you want. Our park is currently and finally being built after much to do trying to convince banks and the City Planning and Zoning Board that RV Parks are not "Trailer Parks". Convenience for the "Overnight" stay will be our main selling point with flat fees and no add ons, laundry with more dryers than washers, free wi-fi, a great pool, very nice showers and restrooms which are all handicap accessible, picnic tables and grills at all sites, 20/30/50 amp, computer hookups at the sites as well as phone, satelitte TV, concrete pads and asphalt roads, pet area, and much more. Though we are close to the highway, sound is not too bad since the park sets in the hollow area by the exit ramp. Our folks lived there for 42 years in an uninsulated house and it wasn't bad at all. We are next to many good restaurants as well as hope to have our on-site restaurant open soon. We also have a Holiday Inn next door. We appreciate all your input and hope you will stop in and see us and give us even more guidance. See our web site at www.rvexpressrvpark.com for progress photos and more info on the park. Thanks again, Terry Evans RVExpress RV Park LLC 1469 Spur Drive Marshfield, MO 65706 (417) 859-RVER 859-7837