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Parkview
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Hello all,

A previous post suggested a topic on this site for input from RV park owners only, and a moderator suggested to me that we try it. So here goes.

To get the ball rolling: I retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1998, and our family decided to build an RV Park on property that had been in our family since 1900. We began construction immediately and opened 3 years later on March 1, 2001 Since we had been RVers for about 25 years, we thought that would be no problem. We learned very fast that we didn't know near as much as we thought we did about building, owning and/or operating an RV Park. However, since we opened, we have learned a great deal, and it has been a great experience, although not always totally smooth sailing.

We have met thousands of new friends and few people that we wish we had never met. 98% or more of our visitors are absolute delights to deal with. In my opinion, our challenge as owners is not to allow our experience with the other 2% affect how we deal with the 98%. It is very easy as an owner to sit down and draw up 4 pages of rules because of the problems we have had with the 2%ers, but I try to consider how every rule or policy might impact the other 98%, who would cause no problems even if we had NO RULES..

That is my start to this topic. We encourage input from other park owners, operators or employees on any subject regarding owning or operating a park. We also welcome input from those of you that are not owners or operators if you have pertinent discussion or questions to add. This topic is not meant to closed to any discussions around operating a park; my comments above are just to start the discussions.

Thanks and Merry Christmas to all,

Doug
John Blue
Good start Doug. I hope this will turn out to be helpful to everyone. We all need to understand owners side in running a park. Now owners will have a place to post information.
Merry Christmas to all as well.
Chuckl
the moderators may consider making this a sticky
Texasrvers
Good suggestion. It is up to the webmaster. We'll let him know.
campergal
Hi there

Hope this takes off! My husband and I purchased a 45 acre campground with 127 sites on it in 2002. Since then we have added approximately 80 more sites. We are about 50/50 for overnight vs seasonal camping. We are in Nova Scotia so have a relatively short season - 3 months of busy busy and we are open 6 months.

We thoroughly enjoy 99% of everything to do with the campground. It's a pleasure to wake up each morning knowing I get to do what I do for a living. We have never regretted it.

We consider ourselves a "campground" vs an "RV Park" and that is probably our biggest challenge. We try to keep up on everything that is needed for the newer larger RVs coming each year but it is difficult sometimes.

I look forward to taking part in this discussion as it progresses! smile.gif

Trish
willranless
For the past 6 1/2 years I have owned and operated a 63 site RV park in the Southeast US. Similar to Parkview, I had a lot to learn when I acquired a closed RV Park from a bank foreclosure sale. When I survived the first two years, I thought I could finally see daylight at the end of the tunnel. Then I had to survive the Great Recession also. But we did make it through and I'm happy to say that 2011 has been our second best year so far. I would like to introduce a couple of topics for discussion.
(1) As a park owner, what do you feel is the biggest obstacle facing you at this point?
For me, I believe it is the difficulty in finding the capital to take a park with a so-so cash flow to the next level. I would like to construct a storm shelter and Rec Hall to accomodate RV Rally groups. I know this would increase revenue, but not exactly sure how much.
(2) What organizations do you feel are most beneficial to belong to? ARVC, Good Sam, FMCA etc.
Don-in-GA
I agree we need a place to share ideas, successes and failures. I hope we have lots of input here after the holidays.

I am a RV Park owner/operator in GA. I do not have a shower house, restrooms or laundry. To be honest I only loose a couple of customers a year so I have been reluctant to make the investment. However I realize to be a legitimate park, I need these amenities. I would like to hear other park owners designs and suggestions. I have not had much success in building plans on the net. When my wife and I travel in our Class A, I take pictures to assist in some ideas.

Thanks in advance for any comments.
dalsgal
Don, our campground has a small metal building that has a mens bathroom and women's bathroom. The room has toilet, sink, shower a bench and a decent amount of room to be able to call it handicapped accessible. This type of building might work for you also. It wouldn't be that expensive to build but would be good for your customer base. There is a narrow room in between that holds the water heater and cleaning supplies. This type of bathhouse works well for families with kids so they can be together and have privacy.
Don-in-GA
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jan 2 2012, 09:13 AM) *

Don, our campground has a small metal building that has a mens bathroom and women's bathroom. The room has toilet, sink, shower a bench and a decent amount of room to be able to call it handicapped accessible. This type of building might work for you also. It wouldn't be that expensive to build but would be good for your customer base. There is a narrow room in between that holds the water heater and cleaning supplies. This type of bathhouse works well for families with kids so they can be together and have privacy.



Thanks for the info. I am trying to decide if the showers and restrooms should be together or not. While I am sure very convenient, this type of setup probably would tie the showers up for long periods while blow-drying hair, shaving, etc. Verses separate zones so to speak. Hope to get more input from other owners.


dalsgal
I understand your worry but we have never had a problem with people having to wait. We have also been to other campgrounds that only had one bathroom for each and never had to wait either. I do think that a bathroom/bathhouse would be best done before a laundry room or any other construction.
willranless
Don,
When I bought my RV Park it did not have a bath house either. It took me about three years to be able to build one. One of the most important things to consider when designing the restrooms is to build something that is easy to maintain and keep clean. For me, that meant tile floors and walls. To keep the building near ground level, we used a concrete slab foundation. Basically what I built is like three private baths in the same building. Exterior is open-faced block. One unit is for Men, another for Women, and one unit is Wheelchair Accessible (including the shower). This last unit can be used by men or women, whether or not they are disabled. It also can be like a family friendly restroom with a diaper changing station. Having three sections allows us to clean one at a time, so that the others are still available for campers to use. It was expensive to construct, but three years later, it still has that brand new look. It definitely impresses folks and helps draw more campers. Because it is all tile, I can regularly spray the floors and walls with disinfectant, scrub the toilets, and wash everything down with a water hose. Once a year at least it gets a pressure washing. Even the showers are tile walk-in with no shower curtain to collect mildew. It was a huge expense to build, but overall it was well worth it. People tell me it is nicer and cleaner than their own bathroom at their home. We have 63 sites, and seldom does anyone have to wait to use it, although there are many RVers who never use park bathrooms.
Another option you might consider is to obtain ready-made restrooms from a company that makes park model homes. While they do not have the same quality as a site built facility, they are considerably less expensive and quicker to install.
Laundry facilities are also very important to many of my guests, whether long term or overnighters. Once you make the intial investment for coin laundry equipment, they pay for themselves.
Let us know how things work out. Have a great 2012.
Don-in-GA
Thanks for all that information. I would love to get some pictures if possible. I was thinking along those lines of construction. Using a slab and split face concrete block. I also want to be able to clean and hose the entire place down knowing nothing can rot or rust. I had considered a pre maid park model unit until I saw one recently while camping myself. It would be a nightmare to keep clean and did not look durable at all. Did you make your own plans or find something on the net?


QUOTE(RanMan @ Jan 5 2012, 03:33 PM) *

Don,
When I bought my RV Park it did not have a bath house either. It took me about three years to be able to build one. One of the most important things to consider when designing the restrooms is to build something that is easy to maintain and keep clean. For me, that meant tile floors and walls. To keep the building near ground level, we used a concrete slab foundation. Basically what I built is like three private baths in the same building. Exterior is open-faced block. One unit is for Men, another for Women, and one unit is Wheelchair Accessible (including the shower). This last unit can be used by men or women, whether or not they are disabled. It also can be like a family friendly restroom with a diaper changing station. Having three sections allows us to clean one at a time, so that the others are still available for campers to use. It was expensive to construct, but three years later, it still has that brand new look. It definitely impresses folks and helps draw more campers. Because it is all tile, I can regularly spray the floors and walls with disinfectant, scrub the toilets, and wash everything down with a water hose. Once a year at least it gets a pressure washing. Even the showers are tile walk-in with no shower curtain to collect mildew. It was a huge expense to build, but overall it was well worth it. People tell me it is nicer and cleaner than their own bathroom at their home. We have 63 sites, and seldom does anyone have to wait to use it, although there are many RVers who never use park bathrooms.
Another option you might consider is to obtain ready-made restrooms from a company that makes park model homes. While they do not have the same quality as a site built facility, they are considerably less expensive and quicker to install.
Laundry facilities are also very important to many of my guests, whether long term or overnighters. Once you make the intial investment for coin laundry equipment, they pay for themselves.
Let us know how things work out. Have a great 2012.

SASMITH
Posted to this thread to see what info it brings. Just purchased a piece of property that is a campground that was operational until fall 2011. Considering putting it back in use, but do not know much about operating a CG. Any info sent my way will be appreciated. Thanks, SASmith
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(SASMITH @ Aug 4 2012, 08:12 PM) *

Posted to this thread to see what info it brings. Just purchased a piece of property that is a campground that was operational until fall 2011. Considering putting it back in use, but do not know much about operating a CG. Any info sent my way will be appreciated. Thanks, SASmith

The first thing I would investigate is why it went out of business. As they say, those who do not study history are bound to repeat it. Remember, starting a business only to make money has a tremendous history of failure. You need to have a passion for what you are doing. Look at Microsoft and Apple. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were nerds and computer geeks first and foremost. They would have built the companies for free because they lived to make software and computers. Do you really want to own and operate an RV Park?
TranQuilguy
QUOTE(SASMITH @ Aug 4 2012, 09:12 PM) *

Posted to this thread to see what info it brings. Just purchased a piece of property that is a campground that was operational until fall 2011. Considering putting it back in use, but do not know much about operating a CG. Any info sent my way will be appreciated. Thanks, SASmith


Where is the park?How big is it?What is there you can use, pond,lake,pool,shopping area? Number of spaces and the like.Why did you buy it?Do You RV?For how long ?Do you have Family help?
Just asking so we know what to advise.And one more thing,do you have a passion for what you are doing?I must agree if you love this as I do it makes a big difference.

TranQuil Guy cool.gif
Texasrvers
We realize that where a park is located might make a difference in the advice given about it. However, we do not allow park owners to tell specifically where their park is located, so please only tell where it is in very general terms. Thanks.
SASMITH
kcmoedoe & TranQuilGuy, Thanks for posing the questions as they are valid points to consider. Yes we(wife and I) are RVers(not full time) for about 12 years. Have always thought having a park would be fun, but never considered owning one. Passion is not a word I would use to describe my interest in this. Just stumbled onto this property, it was purchased by an individual who was full timing in an adjacent park and he decided to have his own place. After running all water, sewer and electrical to 52 sites, he had about 8-10 spots rented to other full timers, he became ill and had to sell. A local with no interest in running CG bought it and all the renters left. Since there is an RV park operating next to this property, we were thinking of doing something different, like setting up 12-15 spaces for extended stay only. Any suggestions?

[quote name='SASMITH' date='Aug 10 2012, 10:09 PM' post='30509']
kcmoedoe & TranQuilGuy, Thanks for posing the questions as they are valid points to consider.

Forgot location: Middle Georgia
Florida Native
It might be a good idea to talk to the folks next door and see what could be done to allow them to place RV's into your park for short term stays. They would handle all of the paperwork and this would cut down a lot on your involvement. You could also do the long term thing you were discussing. It seems ashamed to have sites nearly ready and go unused. This could be their over flow during busy periods. This would also save you the startup cost which could be considerable.
Texasrvers
Matt Woodman,

We are glad that you are a member of our website and that you are participating in our forum. This is a great place to ask for and get advice. However, we do not allow park owners/managers to tell where their park is located as this could be considered solicitation which we do not allow. We have removed your last post as it named your park, identified the area where your park is, and contained your facebook address. Please repost your questions/comments and feel free to continue your discussion; just please do not mention specifically where your park is. Thanks.
Matt Woodman
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Aug 20 2012, 04:41 PM) *

Matt Woodman,

We are glad that you are a member of our website and that you are participating in our forum. This is a great place to ask for and get advice. However, we do not allow park owners/managers to tell where their park is located as this could be considered solicitation which we do not allow. We have removed your last post as it named your park, identified the area where your park is, and contained your facebook address. Please repost your questions/comments and feel free to continue your discussion; just please do not mention specifically where your park is. Thanks.


Whoops....sorry about that! I'll repost. My sincerest apologies to the group...
Matt Woodman
QUOTE(Matt Woodman @ Aug 21 2012, 10:58 AM) *

Whoops....sorry about that! I'll repost. My sincerest apologies to the group...


Reposting my discussion item to meet the requirements of the forum...

I'm the operations manager of an all seasonal park. Wanted to pick the brains of other owner/operators regarding GFI circuit breakers.

We have 255 seasonal sites and all have electricity supplied by Midwest boxes. We have in the boxes 30A GFCI breakers. We have a reliable, safe and maintained system. The one issue that we have is that during a moderate to severe thunderstorm a percentage (5% +/-) of these breakers will trip. For folks that are here - not a big deal, they just wait the storm out and re-set it. However we do have many folks that treat their unit as their "beach house" and are gone during the week.

While most of our customers who are gone for stretches of time do not leave their refrigerators/freezers stocked up - we do have some that simply will not adjust their lifestyle and cannot accept that breaker trips during thunderstorms are a possibility and are the nature of the set up we have.

Like I said, the vast majority of our sites do not trip during storms - but we do have a handful of folks (scattered throughout the park, varied trailer ages) who seem to trip at nearly every storm. Our best guest is that perhaps there are some geographical/geological reasons behind it (?).

Just wondering if other folks have this issue and how they deal with it - either from a customer service side or from a technical standpoint? Particularly interested in how folks in areas like FL or TX deal with this issue - as I have to think that it's a constant issue in areas like that.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Matt Woodman @ Aug 21 2012, 09:14 AM) *

Reposting my discussion item to meet the requirements of the forum...

I'm the operations manager of an all seasonal park. Wanted to pick the brains of other owner/operators regarding GFI circuit breakers.

We have 255 seasonal sites and all have electricity supplied by Midwest boxes. We have in the boxes 30A GFCI breakers. We have a reliable, safe and maintained system. The one issue that we have is that during a moderate to severe thunderstorm a percentage (5% +/-) of these breakers will trip. For folks that are here - not a big deal, they just wait the storm out and re-set it. However we do have many folks that treat their unit as their "beach house" and are gone during the week.

While most of our customers who are gone for stretches of time do not leave their refrigerators/freezers stocked up - we do have some that simply will not adjust their lifestyle and cannot accept that breaker trips during thunderstorms are a possibility and are the nature of the set up we have.

Like I said, the vast majority of our sites do not trip during storms - but we do have a handful of folks (scattered throughout the park, varied trailer ages) who seem to trip at nearly every storm. Our best guest is that perhaps there are some geographical/geological reasons behind it (?).

Just wondering if other folks have this issue and how they deal with it - either from a customer service side or from a technical standpoint? Particularly interested in how folks in areas like FL or TX deal with this issue - as I have to think that it's a constant issue in areas like that.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

I have never seen a 30amp GFCI. Are you sure you are not talking about the 20 amp GFCI outlets (same as the outlets in the house). GFCIs will occasionally trip during a thunderstorm, though having a large number tripping often is probably an indication something else is amiss, but what is would be is really an infinite list. Is it the same breakers each time, or is it random? The actual breakers should not trip in thunderstorms. I would suggest that if it is the 20 amp GFCI, not the 30 amp breaker or not a 30 amp GFCI (again never seen such a thing), to just have the customer not use that plug for critical systems. They could use a 30 to 20 adapter and plug into the 30 amp plug. If you actually have 30 AMP GFCI breakers, (again never seen such a thing) consider replacing them with standard 30 amp breakers. You will need to check with the local electrical codes, but I seriously doubt a GFCI protected circuit is required on 30 or 50 amp services.
dalsgal
They do make 30 amp, 50 amp and 100 amp GFCI's. Home Depot sells them and they are made by Square D. In many, not all I'm sure, locations if the box is within 18 inches of water it is required.

As for Matt's question: The body of the camper gets wet and the neutral is bonded to the ground it will cause the breaker to trip.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(Matt Woodman @ Aug 21 2012, 09:58 AM) *

Whoops....sorry about that! I'll repost. My sincerest apologies to the group...


No problem. Glad to have you here.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(dalsgal @ Aug 21 2012, 03:21 PM) *

They do make 30 amp, 50 amp and 100 amp GFCI's. Home Depot sells them and they are made by Square D. In many, not all I'm sure, locations if the box is within 18 inches of water it is required.

As for Matt's question: The body of the camper gets wet and the neutral is bonded to the ground it will cause the breaker to trip.

Learn something every day. I have never seen one in an RV park box. I knew they were required for things like hottubs and spas, but didn't realize they were ever even used in RV park boxes. When you mention 18 inches from water, is that standing water like a tub, wash basin or spa or is it anything that can deliver water such as a water spigot, or for that matter a water pipe just running through the ground nearby? The bonded neutral you are referring to, would that be bonded inside the trailer at the panel, or bonded at breaker panel for the pedestal? The pedestals are all prewired, so I doubt they would be bonded, but I guess it would be possible for the feeder lines to be bonded at the meter base, though that would take a pretty big error by the electrician. At least that solves the mystery of why it only happens when it rains.
NYDutch
Matt, is there a local code requirement for the 30 amp GFCI's? The NEC (National Electrical Code 2011 Edition) does not require them for outlets above 20 amps in an RV park.
dalsgal
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Aug 21 2012, 08:27 PM) *

Learn something every day. I have never seen one in an RV park box. I knew they were required for things like hottubs and spas, but didn't realize they were ever even used in RV park boxes. When you mention 18 inches from water, is that standing water like a tub, wash basin or spa or is it anything that can deliver water such as a water spigot, or for that matter a water pipe just running through the ground nearby? The bonded neutral you are referring to, would that be bonded inside the trailer at the panel, or bonded at breaker panel for the pedestal? The pedestals are all prewired, so I doubt they would be bonded, but I guess it would be possible for the feeder lines to be bonded at the meter base, though that would take a pretty big error by the electrician. At least that solves the mystery of why it only happens when it rains.

It is anything where you get water. That would include faucets, tubs, sinks and even water pipes If there is a leak it can turn deadly. Hubby says it would be at the panel. It cannot be bonded in the RV. If it is bonded in the RV you could check with a meter by touching body of vehicle and the dirt and if you get a reading at all you get a short. (He is the wiring dude, not me).

When we installed new meters for each campsite we put in the 20,30 and 50 amp GFCI breakers.
NYDutch
The entire RV is basically a "portable appliance", and the neutral and ground should NOT be bonded per the NEC. The only neutral/ground bonding should be at the primary supply panel.
Out Fishing
Howdy,

Unfourtunatly our rv resort is not up and running yet. however going over my budgeting if anyone could answer a few questions on power consumption it would be appreciated.

We have 150 seasonal sites 30A P,S,W and 50 30A P,W sites

how much consumption on average do some of you go through to help me get a better idea how much the power bill will be,. ( we are All Utility inclusive trying not to charge for electricity)

Also we will be only open for 5 summer months a year

Thank You
willranless
Howdy, Out Fishing.

Your question is not easy to answer without knowing the region in which you are located but I will share some average power consumption figures that I had in August and September 2012. My park is in the south where the temps those months was usually in the mid to upper 90's in the daytime. This was a little cooler than normal, but the humidity is rather high. Some of my guests who have 30 amp service averaged around 750 kilowatt hours each of those months. Those were at the high end of the scale. Some used less than 500 Kwh per month on average.

Just curious, Did I understand correctly that you only have 30 Amp sites?
Florida Native
Without giving away any exact locations, the park was along I-75 in mid Ga where it can get very, very hot in the summer. We were recently in the area and I wished I knew your exact location so we could have stopped. We stayed in the general area on the way up and on the way down about a month apart. I have heard other campground owners state here that during the summer, they maxed out at about $3.00 per day on electrical costs. Good Luck in your new venture.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(RanMan @ Oct 25 2012, 09:53 AM) *

Howdy, Out Fishing.

Your question is not easy to answer without knowing the region in which you are located but I will share some average power consumption figures that I had in August and September 2012. My park is in the south where the temps those months was usually in the mid to upper 90's in the daytime. This was a little cooler than normal, but the humidity is rather high. Some of my guests who have 30 amp service averaged around 750 kilowatt hours each of those months. Those were at the high end of the scale. Some used less than 500 Kwh per month on average.

Just curious, Did I understand correctly that you only have 30 Amp sites?

That 30 AMP question occured to me as well. If so, why would you build a new park that is unacceptable to a large number of RVers? I specifically seek out 50 amps, unless I really screw up and nothing else is available. If you don't meter your electricity, you can expect higher bills than average with seasonal guests. They will not be adverse to leaving the AC on cool even when they are gone for the week.
Out Fishing
Good Questions and thanks!

We will be compatible with 50 AMP wire and all that. but right now with only one phase power available we may not be able to provide 50 AMP power to a large number of sites. either way the proposed park is in Alberta ( i think i can state the province??) and really even in dead summer it does not get hot enough for most people to use air conditioning from what i hear.( we average 22 degrees per day in july and august. or 72-71 Farinhit) and honestly from what marketing we have done so far and the people on the seasonal waiting list there was little demand for 50 AMP power.

now we are not up and running yet these are just preliminary so i could be wrong. thats why we decided for the minimal extra infrastructure cost to make all sites compatible with 50AMP. just have 30 AMP breakers.

on that note im curious what is the power consumption difference between a unit that has 50amp and 30 amp? is it significant?

Thanks for all the Help
pianotuna
Hi Outfishing,

A 30 amp site offers up to 3600 watts if it is maxed out.

A 50 amp site offers up to 12000 watts if it is maxed out.

Potentially the 50 amp may consume about four times as much energy. Even with the low rates in Alberta that still costs a lot more.

At the same time, the trend is towards 50 amp service in RV's, so I believe planning for it and having 50 amp breakers would be a forward thinking thing to do.

50 amp is not two phase. It is two legs--just as an electric stove is.
Denali
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Oct 25 2012, 05:29 PM) *
50 amp is not two phase. It is two legs--just as an electric stove is.
Actually, 50 amp power for RVs (and electric stoves) is two-phase. The two legs are 180 degrees out of phase. That's why the neutral conductor isn't twice as big as the two hot legs--the return current will never exceed the draw of one of the hot legs.

You can verify that the legs are out of phase by measuring the voltage across the two hot legs. It should be 240 VAC.

Wandering a bit off-topic, that's also why those of us who use a Cheater Box with two 30 amp outlets need to watch our total current draw. If those two outlets happen to be in phase, we could theoretically draw 60 amps down the neutral line. On a cold morning, we sometimes draw up to 75 amps when connected to 50 amp power.

Oh, and thanks for calling it "amp" rather than "AMP". As you know, "amp" is simply short for "ampere", not an acronym for something else, like "IBM".
pianotuna
Hi Denali,

I meant as opposed to three phase power lines--which are a different kettle of fish altogether. But you are right.
docj
QUOTE(Denali @ Oct 25 2012, 09:28 PM) *

Actually, 50 amp power for RVs (and electric stoves) is two-phase. The two legs are 180 degrees out of phase. That's why the neutral conductor isn't twice as big as the two hot legs--the return current will never exceed the draw of one of the hot legs.



Most residential homes are fed with single-phase power (sometimes called split-phase.) The power company runs three wires into the home which comprises of two hot wires and a neutral wire. The neutral is actually a center-tapped feed off the transformer. Voltage measured across both hot wires is 240 VAC. Voltage measured from any hot to neutral is 120 VAC (split-phase). So, a regular 120 VAC circuit is fed with one hot and the neutral (split-phase). A dryer or oven is fed with both hots which provides 240 VAC (single or full-phase).

Some people mistakenly believe that a 240 VAC circuit is "two-phase," but they are wrong; it's actually the full phase of a single-phase circuit whereas the 120 VAC feeds are half-phase (split-phase).
Texasrvers
I hope someone is understanding all this. blink.gif biggrin.gif
NYDutch
Yep, understanding it and agreeing fully with Joel... biggrin.gif
Denali
Thanks for the correction and lucid explanation, Joel.
willranless
QUOTE(Out Fishing @ Oct 25 2012, 05:44 PM) *

We will be compatible with 50 AMP wire and all that. but right now with only one phase power available we may not be able to provide 50 AMP power to a large number of sites.

thats why we decided for the minimal extra infrastructure cost to make all sites compatible with 50AMP. just have 30 AMP breakers.



Now that I know where you are, I am starting to understand a little better, but I still have some questions and concerns.
When you say 50 amp wire, what size do you mean, and how many conductors are in the circuit? It should be at least 6 gauge copper with 4 wires (3 conductors plus a ground wire). Depending on the distance you are running from the main panel, the wire may need to be larger. A 50 amp RV circuit is 240 VAC. Two of the conductors are each 120 volts to provide the 240 volts while the other serves as a neutral. If you run that to each pedestal, you can then use one of the "hot" conductors and the neutral for a 30 amp service. A 30 amp service is 120 VAC.

1. If you are running the proper size wire for 50 amp, it would seem wise to go ahead and use a 50 amp breaker and have a 50 amp receptacle at each site so that a rig with a 50 amp cord can plug in directly without using an adapter. The cost to do this in the construction phase would be much less than trying to go back and retrofit the pedestals later. I understand that you may not have as much need for 50 amp in the milder climate, but there are other things in an RV besides air conditioning that consume as much or more power, though they may only be on for short times. For example, a hair dryer and a microwave can draw 27 amps on a 30 amp 120 VAC circuit if they are on at the same time. If you factor in other electrical loads, the circuit is overloaded for a short period of time which can cause the breaker to trip.

2. Even though the sites are 50 amp, it does not mean that the Main Service panel has to be rated for 50 amps times the number of sites you are serving from that panel. For example, at my park, I have twenty 50 amp sites that are served by one 400 amp Main breaker. Now if you multiply 20 X 50 you get 1000 amps. I know, it sounds like it won't work, but it does, because every site is not always using the maximum amount of current. The highest amp draw I have ever measured on that 400 amp breaker was 380 amps on a 105 degree day when every site was occupied and running their A/C. Some of those were only 30 amp RVs and this was bordering on overheating the breaker. I was surprised it did not trip. In 7 years I have never had a 400 amp breaker trip or burn out. I did not build this park, but it was subject to inspections by the city for compliance with the electrical codes at the time. You should check with your local code enforcement agency to see what would be required in your area.

3. Being on single phase power should not affect your ability to provide 50 amp service. I'm on single phase as well.

I'm not sure how far along you are in purchasing your electrical equipment yet, but this would be my advice:
Wire your pedestals for 50 amp and include both a 50 and 30 amp receptacle as well as a 50 and 30 amp breaker in each pedestal. This way you are prepared to accommodate whatever type of service your guests may need. It may cost a little more, but it will be a lot cheaper than trying to go back later and do it. I think you will have less problems in the long run and more satisfied guests.
Out Fishing
Thanks for the Feedback!

Mainly its just that 3 Phase is cheaper for higher loads. expessaly when the local farm co=op service in the area is a 200amp service and the power company may not be able to give the 1500-3000amp service we may need for a full 50amp service. (using RanMans numbers at less rate)

Thanks for the advice i am inclined now to offer 50 amp if we can in the area. we dont have our electrical engineered drawings anyway yet. but its good to hear from people in the field already so we can avoid mistakes such as 30 amp when the trend is toward 50amp rvs.

(anything in the USA is usably ahead of us by a little bit but the trends hit us eventually)
Gypsy2
QUOTE(Don-in-GA @ Jan 2 2012, 12:41 AM) *

I agree we need a place to share ideas, successes and failures. I hope we have lots of input here after the holidays.

I am a RV Park owner/operator in GA. I do not have a shower house, restrooms or laundry. To be honest I only loose a couple of customers a year so I have been reluctant to make the investment. However I realize to be a legitimate park, I need these amenities. I would like to hear other park owners designs and suggestions. I have not had much success in building plans on the net. When my wife and I travel in our Class A, I take pictures to assist in some ideas.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

outdoorfanatic
I apologize for bringing the discussion off subject. I have a question that I couldnt find an answer to anywhere else and think that the owners of campgrounds can help me out. I was wondering what all is involved in purchasing a old campground ( expectations/requirements ) if I do not plan to operate as a campground? In short, to buy a campground and just live there as if it were a small house with lots of property. There is a small campground by me with no rv spots or cabins, and has only one small building which I think could be retrofitted to a nice little home. Is this something possible or am I just crazy? Also, would the campground still sell for the asking price now or will it for some reason increase/decrease due to me not wanting to operate as a campground? Im sorry if this isnt the right forum to post. Thank you very much for your responses.
joez
QUOTE(outdoorfanatic @ Nov 27 2012, 09:09 PM) *

I apologize for bringing the discussion off subject. I have a question that I couldnt find an answer to anywhere else and think that the owners of campgrounds can help me out. I was wondering what all is involved in purchasing a old campground ( expectations/requirements ) if I do not plan to operate as a campground? In short, to buy a campground and just live there as if it were a small house with lots of property. There is a small campground by me with no rv spots or cabins, and has only one small building which I think could be retrofitted to a nice little home. Is this something possible or am I just crazy? Also, would the campground still sell for the asking price now or will it for some reason increase/decrease due to me not wanting to operate as a campground? Im sorry if this isnt the right forum to post. Thank you very much for your responses.


Sellers will always try to sell property for the highest (most expensive) use. If the property is more valuable as a campground, why would a seller consider selling it as a residence, unless it is just a turkey and not worth anything as a commercial establishment? If the campground has transferable permits to operate, as well as, environmental and other permits, those would have considerable value, normally. In short, I doubt if your intended use will cause an owner to consider selling at a reduced value. But, hey, stranger things have happened - make an offer. Good luck.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(outdoorfanatic @ Nov 27 2012, 09:09 PM) *

I apologize for bringing the discussion off subject. I have a question that I couldnt find an answer to anywhere else and think that the owners of campgrounds can help me out. I was wondering what all is involved in purchasing a old campground ( expectations/requirements ) if I do not plan to operate as a campground? In short, to buy a campground and just live there as if it were a small house with lots of property. There is a small campground by me with no rv spots or cabins, and has only one small building which I think could be retrofitted to a nice little home. Is this something possible or am I just crazy? Also, would the campground still sell for the asking price now or will it for some reason increase/decrease due to me not wanting to operate as a campground? Im sorry if this isnt the right forum to post. Thank you very much for your responses.

Nothing wrong with buying a piece of property because you like it. It happens all the time. People buy an old farm with no intention of getting pigs or goats. As for the price, it will sell for whatever the property is worth. There is nothing about a campground that can be taken with the seller or sold seperately to reduce the price. How you plan on using it will have no effect on the price. If it is an inactive park, with little or no business, it really doesn't have too much value over the value of the land and buildings. If you do buy it, be aware if you do not operate it as a campground, you may lose the ability to restart it in the future if it has been grandfathered in a zoning action. You also should probably check to be sure it is legal to build a home on it if it is commercial property. Finally, it may be very difficult to get a loan for the purchase. It would be considered a raw land loan by most lenders and those carry high interest rates and high down payment requirements. You won't get a 30 year mortgage at 3% interest with 3% down. If those issues are not a problem, all you need to do is reach an agreement with the seller.
JohnTucson
I've been following this thread with keen interest. Like most folks who have been full-timing for a number of years now, I'm very much interested in the issues facing RV park owners. It's good to see this type of discussion here.

So I have a question I'd like to pose to you all. I hope it's appropriate for me to be asking ... if not, by all means please do let me know.

I'm a retired software developer. I'm in the process of writing a custom RV Park Management package for a park where I've stayed several times, and I'd like to pick your brains regarding features you like to see in your park management software.

Are there special features you particularly like? What are some things I should avoid? What things do you like/dislike about the package you use?

I should also say that it's my intention, if this first package works out well, to offer it to other parks where I stay, perhaps bartering it for space rental (since that's what I'd be spending the money on anyway!). Thanks a million for your input.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(JohnTucson @ Dec 1 2012, 08:43 AM) *

I've been following this thread with keen interest. Like most folks who have been full-timing for a number of years now, I'm very much interested in the issues facing RV park owners. It's good to see this type of discussion here.

So I have a question I'd like to pose to you all. I hope it's appropriate for me to be asking ... if not, by all means please do let me know.

I'm a retired software developer. I'm in the process of writing a custom RV Park Management package for a park where I've stayed several times, and I'd like to pick your brains regarding features you like to see in your park management software.

Are there special features you particularly like? What are some things I should avoid? What things do you like/dislike about the package you use?

I should also say that it's my intention, if this first package works out well, to offer it to other parks where I stay, perhaps bartering it for space rental (since that's what I'd be spending the money on anyway!). Thanks a million for your input.

You could check out Campground Master software's free demo. You can locate it on line. Curious as too what you are finding is missing from the software systems that are currently available?
Just Jack
I read 90% of this tread and came across one thing that was not mentioned at all, costumer service. I own a small park, nothing fancy, but we have great costumer service and the park is clean. And we get nothing but great rating on this site. We have the highest rates among 6 other parks in the immediate area that may have more amenities but they have no customer service skills and the parks are full of full timers and a mess. If you are going to have full timers make it a mobile home park so RV'ers don't have to see the mess. Most park owners don't know the first thing about costumer service.
After several years in the hotel business in a very competitive market place and a border line product to sell we ran at 100% occupancy because of customer service and a clean property.
We RV 1/2 the year and stay in best rated parks only. Many of the parks are not fancy but I see how they get the ratings, customer service and they are clean and neat. There is no excuse for a park not being clean.
Just a comment about electric. I have calculated the cost of electric for 3 years now, as a cost per occupied space per night. It has gone from $2.97 per night to almost $4 a night. We don't meter the spaces but owner should know what it costs. The rigs get bigger with more and more things to run.
Well all for now...
RLM
I am not a park owner, but as a frequent customer I'd like to provide a suggestion for those that are. When looking for a nice park to stay at, all to often, I find that the website does not list GPS coordinates for the campground and rarely does one have a Google Map insert. Occasionally, I even have to go hunting for the address; which, I would think should always be on the home page.

The use of GPS devices and smartphone that have that app is common place now days. Please make it easy to do use them and find your location.
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