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John Blue
Do you find that sat systems are very slow and run about same speed as a dial up phone line? We never found one that works well at all and we will not pay if speed is slow but in your case it is free. Number of parks have removed the sat system and moved over to DSL due to problems. We see sat system at COE park deep in the woods and camp workers hate it. Do you find it works well?
Tikijenn
I agree that it should be 'free' or included in the rate whether I use it or not. It's not that expensive for the c/g to provide and even if they increased their overall rates by a couple of dollars to offset the cost it is still worthwhile.
MN Snowbirds
Have been in two parks that I paid for T???? iinternet and was lucky if I could connect 5% of the time. They weren't interested in a refund but gave a free week. Why would I think this was a good deal to have a free week of service that doesn't work??

I like free, but if you need to pay, it needs to work.
westernrvparkowner
QUOTE(Tikijenn @ Mar 14 2009, 07:52 PM) *

I agree that it should be 'free' or included in the rate whether I use it or not. It's not that expensive for the c/g to provide and even if they increased their overall rates by a couple of dollars to offset the cost it is still worthwhile.

Tikijenn, it is obvious you use the wifi service when you are at a campground. You don't care if the campground has raised the price a "couple of dollars" to provide the service because it is something you want. Would you feel the same if your favorite campground told you they were raising their price $2.00 to pay for something you do not use? I am in the midst of my busy reservation season and everyone asks what is included in my site fees. I tell them all my sites are full hookup, water sewer, electricity, cable TV and wifi. At least 20% ask if they can get a discount because they don't use all those services. They don't have a computer, they don't need cable tv, they only have a popup and don't need sewer, and on and on. A significant percentage of these people choose not to stay at my park, not because the cost is more than any nearby parks, but they feel they should not be paying for something they will not use. It is a mental issue, not a financial one. You need to look back at some of my other posts, Wifi is not inexpensive to provide. It is one of my biggest costs and without a doubt my biggest headache.
Driftr
Here is my 2 cents. I think the wifi should be free as an enticement to choose one rv park over another. I would not rule out a park that charged a small fee. What I totally object to is all these rv parks in the RGV of Texas that advertise that they have it and in some cases charge for it and it doesn't work even some of the time. This was the most frustrating problem we had all this winter down here.
Tikijenn
QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Mar 15 2009, 12:56 PM) *

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

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

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

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

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

I noted this in my review of the park.

JJ
Trentheim
I gotta say that the $1 for the code thing is a good idea. As a former IT guy, keeping a network from being overloaded by anyone with a wireless access device is good. Just be sure to change the passcode on a regular basis!
Florida Native
The one I referred to in the above post was an offsite company that supplies WiFi equipment and service to campgrounds all over. I was in Florida and the bill came from Portland, OR. Campgrounds can have these companies come in and set up the hardware and handle the billing with the campground receiving a cut off the top. I believe it has been said on this board that the campgrounds that own and operate their own systems will charge you at the check in and the offsite ones will handle it through a “free” welcome page and then charge your credit card online. You then get a timed user ID and password. I have noticed over the years that the term “WiFi available” usually means that you have to pay for it. We are big users of the half price camping clubs and it isn’t as bad to pay extra for WiFi, but it still irritates me that I fell for that term again. Tonight, I am staying in a campground that is legally outside of US jurisdiction (Seminole Indian reservation) which is a little strange.
wolverine767
If it costs money for the campground owner/host to run the service, I think it's fair to charge, or to cover that cost in the daily caming fee. If it's piped in for free, and they are just realying the signal, I think it should be free to the camp users.
jan-n-john

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

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

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

campNout
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Jul 22 2008, 09:27 PM) *

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the dimensions of your park?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***
Edited to say: I should have read ALL the posts first before chiming in! WesternRVParkowner (pardon me if I got the name wrong) stated it precisely.
rangiebob
QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 06:18 PM) *

It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service.


I agree with you on this. It's the same things hotels do, some offer it free as a perk and others are greedy like RV parks that charge for it.\

Fortunately, we have a USB air card and don't have to rely on a campground doing the right thing with this.
Kirk
One thing that needs to be kept in mind as we consider what park owners should do is that they must get a return which will pay their bills and provide a reasonable income/return on investment from whatever means that they choose to charge. I think that most of us look at any business and prefer that they charge in some way that favors the way that we use their services. We often believe that what is fair is the way that gives us most for the least expense.

Each service that an RV park supplies has some cost to it, no matter what we may believe. For a park to have truly good wifi coverage which will serve every customer at every site and perhapes even all of them at the same time, is not without some added cost to what he would need just to supply the needs of himself and the business. To say that it is a no cost service indicates a lack of understanding of the equipment required, and the maintenance of it.

Very few RV parks are operated as "not of profit" and we need to consider what we would want from each one if it were our money and efforts that supply the services.

We do not rely upon the RV parks for internet services and so do not even care if they have them available, but when we first went on the road we did and so we wanted it provided.
Florida Native
I am staying tonight in a campground in Travares City, MI. We picked this park becasue it had free WiFi. My computer would not pick it up and even when I switched to my hi-tec antenna, I was only barely able to get service. Page loading time is horrible and I keep getting cut off. I wonder if campground owners realize that WiFi service is important to some of us. We have been bookdocking for 6 days and I have had very spotty service and was really looking forward to sitting down and getting caught up. This is not fair for them to just lie about it.
spinsister
What do you expect for free? Responses like this reminds me of the Biill Engval "Here's Your Sign"..... Everyone expects something for free, a good wifi service COSTS MONEY!! someone has got to pay for it, either the camper or the campground....

QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 28 2009, 08:44 PM) *

I am staying tonight in a campground in Travares City, MI. We picked this park becasue it had free WiFi. My computer would not pick it up and even when I switched to my hi-tec antenna, I was only barely able to get service. Page loading time is horrible and I keep getting cut off. I wonder if campground owners realize that WiFi service is important to some of us. We have been bookdocking for 6 days and I have had very spotty service and was really looking forward to sitting down and getting caught up. This is not fair for them to just lie about it.



but you PAY for your air card service now don't you???


QUOTE(rangiebob @ Jul 29 2009, 07:06 PM) *

I agree with you on this. It's the same things hotels do, some offer it free as a perk and others are greedy like RV parks that charge for it.\

Fortunately, we have a USB air card and don't have to rely on a campground doing the right thing with this.

rangiebob
QUOTE(spinsister @ Aug 29 2009, 08:44 AM) *

but you PAY for your air card service now don't you???


Yes, we do and we always can rely on getting good service!

We're currently at an RV park in the Denver area that personifies greed. They charge for so many things that no other park we've ever been to charges for, so I will happily pay for my air card just so I don't have to give these people another cent over and above what I am already paying.
abbygolden
To the original question - owners should feel free to charge for wifi. However, I will not use it and will find another place where it is free.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(rangiebob @ Aug 29 2009, 02:00 PM) *

Yes, we do and we always can rely on getting good service!

We're currently at an RV park in the Denver area that personifies greed. They charge for so many things that no other park we've ever been to charges for, so I will happily pay for my air card just so I don't have to give these people another cent over and above what I am already paying.
There can be NO business that charges for more things than the wireless phone companies. Somehow my $59.95 per month plan cost around $90.00 per month by the time they charge their taxes, internect fees, line fees, FCC fees, State access fees, fee fees and on and on. I like it when campgrounds charge extra fees for things I do not use, like WiFi, cable TV, pool, gameroom, laundry, mini golf, health club, spa etc., it makes my costs lower than just raising the price and making everyone pay.
rangiebob
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Aug 29 2009, 05:11 PM) *

I like it when campgrounds charge extra fees for things I do not use, like WiFi, cable TV, pool, gameroom, laundry, mini golf, health club, spa etc., it makes my costs lower than just raising the price and making everyone pay.


Yes, I agree with you there. But this park charges extra for parking a trailer in an out of the way spot which no park has ever charged us to drop our trailer when it wouldn't fit on our space. And this is not a space that they can rent out. Plus they charge for electricity for staying a few days using their daily rate. I am okay with paying electricity when we use a monthly rate, but daily? Never saw this before.

Plus this park charges for children over 4 ($5.00 each per day) when they are with 2 adults in their coach. I'm glad I don't have kids as to me, this is not family friendly at all.
rgatijnet
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 28 2009, 09:44 PM) *

I am staying tonight in a campground in Travares City, MI. We picked this park becasue it had free WiFi. My computer would not pick it up and even when I switched to my hi-tec antenna, I was only barely able to get service. Page loading time is horrible and I keep getting cut off. I wonder if campground owners realize that WiFi service is important to some of us. We have been bookdocking for 6 days and I have had very spotty service and was really looking forward to sitting down and getting caught up. This is not fair for them to just lie about it.



I agree 100%. If the park advertises it for free, than it should work, period. If they say it costs an additional few dollars for WIFI, that is fine also. Just give us what you advertise, plain and simple. This also applies to other amenities, not just WIFI. Don't use false advertising to lure us there and then say no refunds. It has gotten to the point where I have actually refused to check into a park until I have verified that the advertised WIFI does work. I will respect the rules of the park, and do not mind paying for a service, but I will not tolerate a park that advertises one thing, and tries to pass off something entirely different. Much as I don't like to do it, I will boondock somewhere rather than spend money at a park that resorts to false advertising.
Florida Native
I agree, it is a question of false advertising. I brought it up and they told me something that was not true. They lied or didn't know about their own park and I have mentioned it in their review so others might know. I sometimes base my park decisions on what I read and what I get from the rangers. If they lie, then, I lose. I would hope that others would warn me and that I would warn others. An air card is way to slow for internet surfing for me. I realize that interent is not really fee, it is just added into the price, but I compare the rates with this in mind. Some services like Nomad also have a max number of bytes you can have in a day. I just don't need that kind of hassle.
jobob
WiFi is a tricky thing. So many variables. I traveled all over and thought it was lousy WiFi service until I had my computer checked and it was my antenna. I had it fixed and the only time I had a problem was when someone in the park I was at kept bogging down the system using their computer as a telephone, watching TV and downloading large files. At the pool I mentioned how slow the internet was and this man told me he could set my computer so I could circumvent the system and be able to do it to. I told him he was a very inconsiderate man. He laughed and told me he liked to call overseas on his computer and talk to a friend of his and by watching movies from Netflix on his computer he got twice as many for his money.
WHAT A JERK!!!
RVRVRV
I guess I will add my 2 cents. You are paying for it by staying at the campground weather you pay an extra charge or not. The campground has to pay his bills to survive and must charge accordigly or fail. I do agree that it should be figured into the total cost and not an add on. And yes you can just plug a router into your DSL line but not all spots in the campground will have an adequate signal. We have 2 antennas 2 routers and a bridge with a 3MB DSL line and can accomodate our small park, 49 sites on 4 acres quite nicely. Usually have 10-20 users on at a time. But many people do not understand that a system can work very good until someone uses skype or downloads movies or streaming audio and the system that works well most of the time becomes slow by a careless person with disregard for others and the campground gets the blame for a bad system when misused by a small group. When the cable goes out people accept it when WiFi is out people go crazy. Just my 2 cents.
Florida Native
We have been traveling several months and have not had WiFi for 4 days. I needed to update my website, do banking, and catch up on "fun" stuff. We pulled into the KY Welcome Station on I 65 and they gave you 15 minutes and then charged you $2.95 for an additional 2 hours. I have used free WiFi at many, many welcome stations allover the US, but being charged by the state is beyond the pale in my opinion. What a ripoff. I did not buy the additional time. We have been doing a lot of boondocking and I have been unable to "borrow" any WiFi. Not a campground as in the thread, but I thought I would mention it.
spinsister
Love it when people always expect something for free....

Starbucks (ATT/Wayport provider varies per location): 2 hours wifi = $3.99
McDonald's (ATT/Wayport provider) = $19.99 per month, & Cost varies at each location, some free some not, 9 times out of 10 generally it will cost you.
Barnes & Nobles (ATT/Wayport provider varies per location): Cost varies at each location, some free some not, 9 times out of 10 it will cost you.

The list goes on and on.... Now would you spend $70 to $300 per month for internet service then give it away free to your neighbors? Think about it.... I suppose there will always be those who are selfish and think that they are always owed something for free?

QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 10 2009, 08:35 PM) *

We have been traveling several months and have not had WiFi for 4 days. I needed to update my website, do banking, and catch up on "fun" stuff. We pulled into the KY Welcome Station on I 65 and they gave you 15 minutes and then charged you $2.95 for an additional 2 hours. I have used free WiFi at many, many welcome stations allover the US, but being charged by the state is beyond the pale in my opinion. What a ripoff. I did not buy the additional time. We have been doing a lot of boondocking and I have been unable to "borrow" any WiFi. Not a campground as in the thread, but I thought I would mention it.

kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 10 2009, 07:35 PM) *

We have been traveling several months and have not had WiFi for 4 days. I needed to update my website, do banking, and catch up on "fun" stuff. We pulled into the KY Welcome Station on I 65 and they gave you 15 minutes and then charged you $2.95 for an additional 2 hours. I have used free WiFi at many, many welcome stations allover the US, but being charged by the state is beyond the pale in my opinion. What a ripoff. I did not buy the additional time. We have been doing a lot of boondocking and I have been unable to "borrow" any WiFi. Not a campground as in the thread, but I thought I would mention it.
Lindsay, you usually make good logical points, but you really went to the dark side on this one. Why should the taxpayers of Kentucky provide you with WiFi for free? Just because the government helps pay for new cars and wants to start giving you all the medical care they think you need doesn't mean they should give you internet access. I do, however, think they should give me free cell service, I use it a lot more than the internet.
Florida Native
QUOTE
Why should the taxpayers of Kentucky provide you with WiFi for free?


Probably for the same reasons they provide me with all of those expensive slick multiple color brochures. The idea of a Welcome Station is to welcome people to the state and make them spend money to help the local businesses. My home state of Florida has been giving out free orange juice at it’s Welcome Stations before there was I-75. Many states have free WiFi and dumpsites at even many of their rest stops. It says, hey tourist, we like you and we want to give you a little something to make your stay in our fair state a pleasant one. When I was in business, I used to give away free stuff and it made me a lot of money in the long run. Charging for WiFi at a Welcome Station says, screw you Charlie. They also get only a small % of the fees anyway. I can remember last year driving out West and checking for open sites with my WiFi detector as we passed rest stops. We also stopped and used many of them. One of the first things we did was look for campgrounds and things to do. Internet advertising is a cheap way to get business and many (if not most) states take advantage of it. One KY pinhead official who has never had to meet a payroll probably decided to generate a little money and is making the tourist mad. I know, because I am a tourist and it made me mad as you can see. I am writing this at a Panerra Bread store. My wife and I just spent $14 on a nice dinner and are utilizing their free WiFi as we frequently do when boondocking. We choose them because of the free WiFi. Works out great for both of us.
RVRVRV
Included in that meal price is a charge to cover that free WiFi. Free seems to be going to the way side. Look how many states are closing dump stations and rest areas are next. With the economy as it is, federal, state, county, city and private company's are all charging for free items one way or another. Times are tough.
Florida Native
QUOTE
With the economy as it is, federal, state, county, city and private company's are all charging for free items one way or another. Times are tough.



Giving away free stuff to encourage more business has been a sucessful way of encouraging customers to use your business my whole life. This goes back to the free toaster when opening a bank account to a free smilely face glass with a gsdoline fillup. In tough times, the business people (or state tourism depts) that think smart will be the winners. The folks who cut back on their marketing and save pennies to lose dolllars will be the losers of the recession. Tough times require smart people to survive. Believe me, it works.
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 19 2009, 01:16 PM) *

Giving away free stuff to encourage more business has been a sucessful way of encouraging customers to use your business my whole life.<snip>


But what you are asking is only going to encourage people to sit at the welcome center using wi-fi - better to lower their sales tax, lower their income tax, so you pay less at their businesses - the businesses that you decide to spend your money. There is no such thing as a free lunch - someone has to pay for it.

And I can't believe this thread has gone ten pages.
Smoketree
Free is good.... not really free, but included in the price. Charging over $8 a day like Don Laughlin's Riverside RV park is absurd.
Florida Native
QUOTE
There is no such thing as a free lunch - someone has to pay for it.


Very true and business has understood this for years. There is a competition for the consumer’s business and giving away something for “free” is a way that successful business have outdone their competition for years. I spent the $14 at Paneria Bread instead of their competitor down the street. Providing their “free to me” internet was a good marketing decision. We both won and the guy that lost was the guy down the street who didn’t get my business. This is multiplied numerous times every day and provides a boost to their business that is on top of their gross that has already covered their overhead. As a wise (and cheap) consumer, I search out the folks who give away “free to me” to patronize and spend my money. I have also invested my own money into ways to make this easier by buying a good WiFi detector and a good antenna.
pianotuna
Hi Lindsay,

You are *not* cheap--you are careful. That is different than cheap!

QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 21 2009, 11:15 AM) *

Very true and business has understood this for years. There is a competition for the consumer’s business and giving away something for “free” is a way that successful business have outdone their competition for years. I spent the $14 at Paneria Bread instead of their competitor down the street. Providing their “free to me” internet was a good marketing decision. We both won and the guy that lost was the guy down the street who didn’t get my business. This is multiplied numerous times every day and provides a boost to their business that is on top of their gross that has already covered their overhead. As a wise (and cheap) consumer, I search out the folks who give away “free to me” to patronize and spend my money. I have also invested my own money into ways to make this easier by buying a good WiFi detector and a good antenna.

Florida Native
QUOTE
You are *not* cheap--you are careful. That is different than cheap!


Believe me, I am thrifty. I actually considered getting satallite internet until I realized the cost. I am holding out for some new next technology that will replace everything and I can get the internet on my Dick Tracy video watch.

Aftica
QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 05:18 PM) *

Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

I would like to get other opinions on this.

My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

What do you think?


I do tend to agree with you. At worst, build it into your price. The more that you can offer in one net net price the better IMHO.

What is VERY irritating is to find that "WiFi at site" is nonsense. How many of us have found that! We travel because I can stay in contact with the office. No WiFi = no business
jobob
I can have a really good signal (now that I got my antenna fixed) then a big rig parks next to me and blocks it or some selfish individual decides to download movies. It isn't the parks fault when this happens. I don't think McDonalds or the other places that offer free WiFi have to contend with people watching movies, TV, streaming stock quotes or videos, downloading large files, using VOIP or other bandwidth hogging applications. I seriously doubt if they allow people to stay for hours and hours using their internet. If someone depends on WiFi to run a business or finds it absolutely essential to their happiness they need to have their own system and not depend on a free shared service. Shared systems are just that...shared. If everyone follows the rules it works well. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. I amazes me how many inconsiderate people there are. I've been an Rv'er for over 40 years and it never used to be that way.
gilda
QUOTE
. If someone depends on WiFi to run a business or finds it absolutely essential to their happiness they need to have their own system and not depend on a free shared service. Shared systems are just that...shared. If everyone follows the rules it works well. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. I amazes me how many inconsiderate people there are. I've been an Rv'er for over 40 years and it never used to be that way.




Good post jobob!! This is so true. If you HAVE to have good, secure service, then you best get your own and pay for it. Free shared service is NOT perfect because too many shelfish people abuse it. I'm amased at all the complaints I will get when EVERYONE in the park gets on at 8pm and the system slows down. (or on a rainy day). Either stop complaining or better yet, head out to McDonalds or Panera Bread like another mentioned.

kcmoedoe
The last two Micky D's I ate at both charged $4.95 for an hour of internet access. That really runs up the price of a "Royale with cheese".
Park Manager
My thought is "no" - do not charge for wifi. However, if the park's internet service requires a code, I would wonder if a discount to a guest might be appropriate if they don't want the code to access . . . maybe $1 per day? Not everyone accesses the internet OR has their own access. The fewer people on the park system should mean less problems in connection speed. Why not give a discount to the non-user? Does anyone else do this?
Galli
QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 04:18 PM) *

Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

I would like to get other opinions on this.

My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

What do you think?

I AM NOT A CAMP OWNER !!!!
Well, I am bivalent regarding your opinion for charging and not charging the internet facility at the camp.
I have to recognize that I would not choose a camp without this facility but I could not expect that the cost of it be prorated to the rest of the campers.
Internet is becoming an important tool like the telephone, camera, cars etc.. but it is not a feature that every one uses, therefore, yes, I insist to have the facility but I am ready to pay provided that it is a reasonable cost.
Furthermore, as you mentioned in your message, in certain occasions, it will be very expensive for park owners to install towers and lines etc. and since it is not part of the purpose of the camp to excel in communication, I don’t see why it should be a free service there.
In closing, in case of a luxury camp, yes, it should be free.
Florida Native
Interesting and suprising survery on RV'ers and computers.

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