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will be retireing jan. 2012 and will begin our adventure to see this beautiful country that we are
so blessed to live in. i have been reading the forum and the rv reviews for a while now and i must
say that the forum and the review is very helpful to a newbe like me. i am sure that i will have
many questions as time goes by and i am sure that many of the question may be on the silly side.
my main question now is how do private c.g.'s expect to be paid? the reason for this question is
that i have noticed reading the reviews that many c.g.'s want cash only, does this mean real
dollars or are they talking about debit cards. if real cash is needed, how much cash does one
carry, or is there another way to have cash without carrying alot of money?
We spend 200+ nights per year in commercial campgrounds, COE campgrounds, and state parks and have run into only one or two cash only campgrounds in the last five years. In those instances cash money was expected. We mostly use a credit card (to us they are a bit safer) for the reward points/discounts. There have also been a few campgrounds through the years who prefer checks - these can be a problem for us as we do not normally carry paper checks. We carry enough cash with us to take care of emergencies (fill fuel tank, etc). We have been in areas after hurricanes or other weather stuff where cc machines did not work for several days and cash was king.
Wow, I'm not sure where you are seeing that many private campgrounds want cash only. In the 11 years we have been RVing I can think of only 3-4 places that required cash, but those that did would also take a check. The vast majority take some kind of credit card.

Also with the abundance of ATM machines, we do not carry much cash with us--only a few hundred dollars. We use our credit cards for most everything these days.

Congrats on your retirement. Welcome to the fun.
About the only places I see cash only is the very occasional, very small, honor system type campground where no one is around and you put your money in an envelope and slide it in a box. The only other situation I can think of is if you are staying seasonally somewhere and the park wishes to avoid the credit card fees for a larger than normal transaction. Almost always in that situation they will take a check.
I have only seen a couple of CGs that only take cash (one in Marble Falls, Tx comes to mind). i have also seen CGs offer a small discount if you pay in cash (a dollar or two per night) but will take credit cards. I have also seen them not take amex, probably because they have the highest processing fees. As far as how much cash to carry, we rarely take more than a couple hundred, unless a casino is planned on the trip, and then more times than not, I just wish I had only taken a couple of hundred.
Florida Native
We have found that many campgrounds honoring the discount clubs like Passport America and Camp Club take cash only. I guess this saves them the credit card fee and keeps their average charge higher which can affect their rate with the credit card processor. We have a BOA credit/debit card and have never had any problems getting money. We usually get cash from Wal-Mart and keep around a hundred each. We also try to keep some money on their gas gift card as they are generally cheaper. We pay all bills online and rarely write a check.
I have seen PA campground owners put the cash directly into their wallet, and felt that this just went as a vacancy and "tax free" cash. Lot of that going around.
Cash only situations are fairly rare, but I remember in one case I was asked if I needed a receipt. If I didn't, then he wouldn't charge me the additional taxes!
We accept all major credit cards. The only discount the owners give is $2.00 off if you pay cash when paying by the night. That saves us the credit card charges. We also like to use the card as a debit card because the companies don't charge us a fee for debits.
thank you for your responces to my question, it helps alot.
Hi bluescooter,

I tend to stay in small honor system campgrounds. Some will take a cheque--but most want cash. On a recent 17 night trip I used my credit card a grand total of twice for campground fees. The rest were either no cost or honor system campgrounds.

I find many of them here:

If you find any under $10.00 please add them!
At my park, I graciously accept whatever form of payment is offered, without making the guest feel guilty about the form they use. However, if given a choice, my order of preference would be: (1) CASH (2) Check (3) Credit Card and in the Credit Card category I would prefer Visa, Mastercard, or Discover, above AMEX, because the processing fees are less on the first three and the money hits my bank account sooner.
Many RVer's assume that I don't want a check, because so many businesses have either stopped taking them, (or use a check guarantee service like TeleChek which in my personal experience can be a big hassle both for the customer and the merchant) I am happy to report that I don't use a check guarantee service and in six years I have had only 5 checks that were returned and of those every one was taken care of by the customer.
Regardless of the method of payment or whether the customer wants a receipt, I still put it into my accounting program so that my yearly gross is accurate.
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