Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Rv Travel Agent
RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > General Chat
Fitzjohnfan
OK, last year my wife and I thought we had a great idea. We thought that since there are so many websites where you can purchase airline tickes, hotel rooms, and rental cars, why not do something similar for RV'rs. We figured there must be a nitch market for people who would like to have someone else help them plan their trip, then make reservations for them at RV parks/campgrounds, and even purchace tickets to shows, amusment parks, etc. once they get to their destination. We would help them with all travel plans and only charge a nominal fee, like $10.00/day planned.

We have been working on a website, filed an LLC and even got an 800 number for a while, but now we're getting cold feet and not sure it will work.

What do you think? Are there people out there who would use a service like this (people new to the RV lifestyle, people who would like help with their plans, etc.) or are people who purchase RV's generally more independant and would probably not use a service like this.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, good or bad.
fpullanosr
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Aug 1 2011, 11:06 PM) *

OK, last year my wife and I thought we had a great idea. We thought that since there are so many websites where you can purchase airline tickes, hotel rooms, and rental cars, why not do something similar for RV'rs. We figured there must be a nitch market for people who would like to have someone else help them plan their trip, then make reservations for them at RV parks/campgrounds, and even purchace tickets to shows, amusment parks, etc. once they get to their destination. We would help them with all travel plans and only charge a nominal fee, like $10.00/day planned.

We have been working on a website, filed an LLC and even got an 800 number for a while, but now we're getting cold feet and not sure it will work.

What do you think? Are there people out there who would use a service like this (people new to the RV lifestyle, people who would like help with their plans, etc.) or are people who purchase RV's generally more independant and would probably not use a service like this.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, good or bad.



Sounds like your re-inventing the wheel.

There are several companies that perform similar services, not as many as in the years past, since some of them have merged.

The companies I refer to make all your travel, entertainment, site seeking and meals arrangements. And they will even chaperone you for a fee.
John Blue
FMCA and Good Sam will do most of this as well if you are a member for no charge.
kcmoedoe
Do you have some specialized contacts that would allow you to get good tickets to events, sold out shows, great seats to sporting events, into parks that are sold out etc.? I don't think you could negotiate reduced rates at RV parks since they are almost exclusively individually owned. You probably could get your customers the same discounts as KOA card members or Good Sam members get, but those are readily available to anyone. Do you have some extraordinary experience traveling the country by RV (such as your previous career was a travel writer or you ran RV tours etc) so you could offer specialized personal advice to travelers? A possible niche would focusing in on two or three really specialized tours such as a wine country RV tour, or a Florida Everglades tour, A Florida or Arizona spring training baseball tour, or some other kind or regional tour. But I really don't see much demand for someone to make reservations nationwide who couldn't offer some inside deals or advantages. But remember, there has never been a business that suceeded that was never started.
Wink
I don`t think so.As I think most Campers are of the independent type.Plus there is so many clubs that you can join for free or very low fees that have rallies and tour together for just your expense you would have any way.And the private parks will deal with a club for free if you book say ten or more site`s.Plus there is two clubs that I know of that is between forty and fifty dollars a year that will get you up to fifty percent off camping fees and provide info on the parks that they are affiliated with.As for what to do in a area all you got to do is go on line here or other RV sights and read the reviews and ask questions.
IMHO
Lindsay Richards
Planning where to go is a lot of fun for many of us. We rarely know where we are going to spend the night until the afternoon. This system works for us and many others.
Fitzjohnfan
QUOTE(fpullanosr @ Aug 1 2011, 10:34 PM) *

Sounds like your re-inventing the wheel.

There are several companies that perform similar services, not as many as in the years past, since some of them have merged.

The companies I refer to make all your travel, entertainment, site seeking and meals arrangements. And they will even chaperone you for a fee.


The few companies I've seen online have pre-planned trips to specific destinations (e.g. you go here day one, you go here day two, etc.). Ours would be more personalized and could even save travelers money. We could find free or low cost places to stay in between the RV parks/campgrounds.

As far as previous experiance, my wife and I have been traveling together throughout the country in various modes of travel (car/tent, pop-up and two different motor homes) for over 20 years.

As far as the FMCA trip planning (I haven't tried the Good Sam version), they only give you directions and a few generic suggestions on where to stay. Not much better than using an online mapping service like Mapquest.

Not only would we make the plans for the traveler, we would also make the reservations for them, and purchase any tickets needed for amusment parks, shows, etc. Then, if their plans changed, they would only need to call us and we could make all the changes (a single point of contact).

Again, I'm still not sure if it would work, but I welcome all your feedback. I agree though, making the travel plans for our family is a lot of fun.

Thanks,
Chris.
Tom
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Aug 1 2011, 09:06 PM) *

or are people who purchase RV's generally more independant and would probably not use a service like this.



That would be us, and our friends. Out of our circle of "camping friends", we camp the most (6-8 weekends a year), and none of us belong to any clubs or similar groups.
DXSMac
I'd love to support any wonderful idea that an RV person has, but half the fun of RV'ing is to wander aimlessly down the road and not know where you are staying each night. So, for me, nope, I wouldn't use one. Sorry!
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Aug 8 2011, 09:38 PM) *

The few companies I've seen online have pre-planned trips to specific destinations (e.g. you go here day one, you go here day two, etc.). Ours would be more personalized and could even save travelers money. We could find free or low cost places to stay in between the RV parks/campgrounds.

As far as previous experiance, my wife and I have been traveling together throughout the country in various modes of travel (car/tent, pop-up and two different motor homes) for over 20 years.

As far as the FMCA trip planning (I haven't tried the Good Sam version), they only give you directions and a few generic suggestions on where to stay. Not much better than using an online mapping service like Mapquest.

Not only would we make the plans for the traveler, we would also make the reservations for them, and purchase any tickets needed for amusment parks, shows, etc. Then, if their plans changed, they would only need to call us and we could make all the changes (a single point of contact).

Again, I'm still not sure if it would work, but I welcome all your feedback. I agree though, making the travel plans for our family is a lot of fun.

Thanks,
Chris.

I really, really don't see people paying anyone to help them find places that don't charge to stay. The whole point of a free spot is the free part. Buying tickets for amusement parks is no problem for most people. Shows may be a different issue, but again, unless you have inside contacts or high buying power you wouldn't be able to offer anything they couldn't get by spending two minutes on line. What kind of fees are you looking at charging? $10.00 for telling someone where a Walmart is wouldn't work. One dollar, and it isn't worth it to you. Are you going to put out your money for the reservations and tickets and get re-imbursements from your customer? If not, do you expect your customers to continually give you their card numbers every time they want to make a reservation or a purchase? Many businesses frown on getting card information from 3rd party sources, it is a dead giveaway to fraud. I am not sure 20 years of traveling equates to expertise in RV travel planning any more than my 53 years of eating makes me an expert on restaurants. I traveled for business a hundred or more nights a year for 20 plus years, had an unlimited expense account and a lot of hungry clients and I couldn't tell you what restaurants to visit in most cities in America. I may have spent 200 days in Houston over those years of traveling, but I couldn't tell you where a Walmart was, where the Malls are, where to get service on your RVs refrigerator etc. I think you need to really flesh out your business plan before spending any money on advertising etc. The last things you need to do is either spend money on advertising and business infrastructure and fail or end up with some very upset people because their vacation you were hired to plan fell apart because you were flying by the seat of your pants rather than following a prescibed plan of action. Good Luck
chowhound
It might work, you would really need to carefully define your market. The very people that responded here on this site are not your market for the various reasons mentioned. More likely your target are those that do not currently own an RV and are totally unaware of what is possible or available in the RV lifestyle. I would target or affiliate with RV rental companies and have your "reservation/entertainment services" as an add on fee (with some form of revenue sharing with the dealer). this way you would be pricing far in excess of the $10 you mentioned earlier.
bukhrn
While not for us, or obviously many others, I think your market may be the higher end RV'ers, like those folks driving a 42 ft Newell Coach, or $2 mil Prevost, I wish you luck, but I just don't see someone with a Popup or a 23 ft TT heading to a National Forest CG using a service like that.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.