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It won't last forever. Either crude prices will eventually rise and the price of the refined products will rise with it, or crude will stay low and the government will raise the fuel taxes since they know that the economy can function with $3.00 plus fuel prices. You can almost bet that any fuel tax increase will be a temporary increase that will be rolled back just as soon as hell freezes over.
westernrvparkowner 01/30/15 03:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Reservation Rant for the Day

We do not man our offices 24/7/365. To do so would be financially irresponsible. During our offseason, when the parks are closed, we rely on phone messages and e-mails to complete the ten to fifteen percent of reservations that are not made through our online reservation system. We have often encountered e-mail accounts that either will not accept e-mails from "unknown" senders or e-mail accounts that have sent our replies to junk mail files. With phone messages, we find that around 10% of the messages are virtually unintelligible. Some people don't leave their phone number, and others neglect to leave the area code and only give us the seven digits. Can't return those calls even though we want to. If the person leaving the message would enunciate their name and phone number SLOWLY, and possibly repeat that phone number along with giving a best time for a return call, they would find that their success in getting a callback will improve. Also, if you leave a voice message, be sure your callback number has a voice mailbox set up to receive voice messages. We will try a few times to return calls, but we aren't going to devote several days making repeated attempts in hopes that someone will finally answer their phone.
westernrvparkowner 01/30/15 01:30pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Stupid Pet Policies

Here's the rule that caught my eye: "Pets are not allowed outside the campground". So what jurisdiction does the campground have over what takes place off of their property? And more importantly, once you get into the campground with your pet, how do you leave with him/her? (tongue-in-cheek emoticon here) Most likely the park is in an area where the neighbors do not want people walking pets on their property. Could be the park is adjacent to a residential area, adjacent to a golf course, adjacent to a public park that prohibits pets or a host of other reasons. People may not like this park's rules and policies, but they sure seem to be very clear and open about presenting them upfront and letting the potential guests make their decision prior to making a reservation.
westernrvparkowner 01/29/15 07:47pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Stupid Pet Policies

Any prospect of talking some sense into the proprietors? Any other suggestions?Reading between the lines it appears that "sense" has probably been beaten into the proprietors by some problem dog situations in the past. As for suggestions, I would say you have three choices. 1. Follow the rules. 2. Stay Elsewhere. 3. Violate the rules and live with the consequences.
westernrvparkowner 01/29/15 06:52pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Bumper ball

Are you sure he didn't just tell you to ignore the ratings stamped on the bumper next to where the ball attaches? That wouldn't be an incorrect statement since you are going to need to have a weight distribution hitch installed and those ratings will be vastly different than what is stamped on that bumper. Almost any full sized pickup equipped with a proper weight distribution hitch is going to be rated to handle both your tongue weight and the weight of your trailer. In 1/2 ton models, you will be getting close to the max ratings. Only you can make the decision as to whether or not going up to a 3/4 ton or larger truck is going to be worth the money and sacrifice of ride comfort and fuel economy.
westernrvparkowner 01/29/15 10:20am Tow Vehicles

It is pretty obvious why his previous employer dumped him now and I am certain he will meet the same fate at CW. CW needs to do a better job on vetting new employees.Great idea in theory, almost impossible to do in real life. NO employer is ever going to say anything negative about a past employee. It's a quick way to get sued and you will most likely lose. On top of that, it was a competitor that they worked for, so a bad employee leaving your business and going to that competitor might just be a great thing for your business, so why upset the apple cart. References are worthless, no one is going to put on their reference list people who are going to say bad things about them. You can do background checks, but there isn't a database that tracks a person's sales ability. If he didn't have a criminal past, it really comes down to reading the tea leaves and not everyone is a Miss Cleo.
westernrvparkowner 01/29/15 09:04am Camping World RV Sales
RE: Coast to Coast and RPI

Threads like these are why I believe such membership programs are heading for a complete collapse. The ONLY way such programs make financial sense is if there is a steady sale of NEW memberships at high prices. If most people buy from the resale market there is no new money entering the system and parks are going to have nothing but money losing stays with rents less than $10.00 per night. We are not affiliated with any of the membership parks or high discount clubs and I can't see any reason for a park to enter into those agreements if there isn't a financial carrot. Buy at your own risk of not having any decent parks to choose from in the future.
westernrvparkowner 01/27/15 09:53am Full-time RVing
RE: Inside a dog food processing plant?

My dog will gobble elk, deer and bison turds like they were M&Ms. She treats a hunter's gut pile like an all you can eat buffet. Doubt anything in a pet food plant would hurt her.
westernrvparkowner 01/26/15 02:19pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Selling a Distressed Motorhome

I agree with the just put "needs work" crowd, with two exceptions. The big exception would be if there was a safety issue that would not normally be considered by a buyer, especially if you created that hazard by modifying the rig. For example, if 4 of the 5 lug bolts on a wheel had broken off and you just superglued them back into place to make it look good, that needs to be disclosed. I would disclose any major safety issue just to protect myself and feel good about myself at the same time. If the brakes don't work and you let the buyer drive off, you may be legally liable if they then plow into a school bus and hopefully you would feel downright bad for the parents of the dead and injured. The extra few dollars you might have in your pocket because you bluffed you way through the sale probably won't make up for it. The second would be if the rig has had major damage repaired. Things like full flood damage, major damage from an accident etc, especially if those repairs are covering up major problems that you know about. If the internal wiring is all corroded because you accidentally drove it into the ocean, that should be disclosed. Cosmetic issues, leaks, squeaks, radios that have a lot of static, "needs work" is sufficient.
westernrvparkowner 01/25/15 10:51am Class A Motorhomes
RE: B.C. Parks fee increase

Depending upon the levels at the park - an increase in campers can require more staff - keeping the office open longer hours - increasing the size of the sewer system - adding restrooms - etc. Costs can be budgeted on X number of camper nights per year. If you get 1.5 X camper nights per year - it can actually raise fixed costs. With all due respect meant most sincerely: I can appreciate that as with most businesses, but an increased demand means an increase in revenue, which typically equates to a larger spread of costs so that additional revenue should mean higher profitability, albeit one may need to provide a portion of those increased profits to reinvestment for more support staff/equipment/services. If anything I've always found generally the more customers we can sell our service or products to usually the cheaper the cost of production per item/service up to maximum capacity. Then most businesses look to more automation or higher output machinery/systems to produce even more product/service at less cost per item so more profit. So in general, I'm struggling to get my head around how increased revenue wouldn't more than cover any expansion or additional support staff needed without an increase in purchase price? We've personally evidenced a 300% increase in the past 16 years in some CG fees, but not seen our salaries go up 300% in the same period. Or is it more a case of the head honchos getting too greedy for their six and seven figure income salaries for very little contribution we see, in way too many public sectors of today. Usually it is never the right answer to throw people at problems or more dollars it's usually a case of assessing without prejudice the processes, systems and procedures and enforcing the expectations/accountability from employees they should of been made aware of and agreed to at hire date. 10000 camp nights at $30 = $300,000 15000 camp nights at $30 = $450,000 thats an extra $150,000 towards an additional staff member, some extra sites and water/sewer expansion, why the need to increase the per usage base cost because of higher usage demand. It would make more sense if they were getting reduced people leading to less revenue to cover the fixed costs. There'll come a time when they do price themselves out of the market, and by then it might be too late to retrace in a timely manner. We are already hearing of folks that have stopped supporting these higher prices for little facilities, and the younger sets coming behind will have to watch their dollars stretch very far when interest rates eventually start rising to more commonly seen rates of yesteryear and that's just one of many things that could change how people have to reallocate their spending habits. A lot of government controlled entities at National, Regional and Local levels might find before much longer they've all shot themselves in the foot. Change is inevitable, we just don't have the crystal ball to know when.While demand does rise and fall with pricing (at least in Econ 51 class) there is much more to consider. First demand for RV sites is not that elastic (meaning price is not a primary driver). No one is sitting at an RV park in the Great Smoky Mountains saying they would have went to Yosemite if the RV sites there were $3.00 less. Demand for RV sites is much more driven by location, season and even weather. You could give the sites away in most locations and not draw a substantially greater crowd (other than taking guests from one local park to another). Since the selling features of private parks and government parks are often very different, private parks are not really in competition for business with the public parks. Public parks also are not in competition with each other since the monies end up in the same coffers. There is really no competitive element to public park pricing, hence they don't have to make a pricing decision based on business they might lose to a competitor. One of the major goals of public parks often might be to make enough money to convince the appropriate governing entities that it is not a serious drain on the governments limited resources to keep those parks open. As someone has already pointed out, apparently in BC, there is $2.00 of public money supplementing every dollar of park fees. That is a subsidy that budget officials could easily decide is too much subsidy for too few users and lead to cut backs in those parks. Sometimes paying a little more is good policy both for the individual user and the public as a whole.
westernrvparkowner 01/24/15 11:20am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: 50% less from what you paid

Just for fun I called a big dealer and ask him to give me what he would give for my 4 year old Winnebago Sightseer . It was 1/2 of what I payed for it. Does it ever stop going down or level off. Well, maybe "just for fun" the dealer gave you a lowball offer. Or maybe he has to make money to cover for all the wasted time he spends giving responses to bogus, non-serious inquiries about the value of someone's RV when they have no intention of doing a deal. You wasted his time and you are the one complaining? Maybe it was just fun for you, it was non-productive work for the dealer.Best post in this thread!!. On top of that, how can any dealer give a quote on a rig they aren't even looking at. They have two choices. 1) Give a safe quote, leaving them with a little bit of wiggle room should the rig is not be exactly as described. Trouble is, you get a situation like the first poster where they are upset with the value given. They of course don't come in to trade or sell the rig to the dealer and the dealer does indeed just waste time and money. 2) give a high quote and nit-pick the every detail about the rig when the guy brings it in to drive the actual price down to what it is worth. This might bring the customer into the dealership, giving the dealer at least a puncher's chance at making a deal. But almost always people take offense with someone telling them all the little things wrong with their RV and it just turns into bad blood and a waste of time. Most of us would not waste the time of other businesses. We wouldn't have construction companies come out and give us estimates on remodeling jobs we have no intention of undertaking. Just like the "boy who cried Wolf", enough people waste the dealer's time with nonsense like this, you will end up with a dealer who assumes every such call is a waste of time. And finally, is there anyone, anywhere, who didn't know that RVs depreciate about as fast as a punctured balloon?
westernrvparkowner 01/24/15 08:44am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Deposit fee for dogs

Since I don't recall EVER having a Camp Host, or anybody else, inspect my site as I pulled out to see if there was any "dog damage", I'm not sure just how such a deposit would be administered. Who decides whether or not I get my deposit back?? My dog?? My wife?? Somebody in the office who hasn't seen my site in a week?? Splain it to me, Lucy!Damage deposits have been around for many years. Since Hotels, motels, apartment and home rentals, Car rental agencies and a multitude of other entities appear to be able to handle it, I would think even dumb ole campground owners could do it as well. Like most of those businesses, the vast majority of the deposits would be nothing more than a waiver that allows a credit card charge in the case of a covered incident. Probably only cash paying customers would actually have to post a true deposit. None of the other businesses are required to have an inspection prior to departure, their word (and generally photographic evidence) is good enough for the credit card companies, so it would be good enough for campgrounds as well.
westernrvparkowner 01/22/15 05:26pm General RVing Issues
RE: Deposit fee for dogs

A dog with an irresponsible owner can cause a lot of damage. If it is a deposit and you get your money back should no damage occur, what's the problem? We require deposits on several items such loaned sports equipment, loaned tools etc. The thought of losing $$$ somehow makes people a bit more responsible. I would expect it such an incentive would translate into pet owner behavior as well.
westernrvparkowner 01/22/15 09:25am General RVing Issues
RE: Rudest dealer ever

Mike, I have a tale that absolutely does not relate...but does.... Years ago the Princess and I were in the market for a new SUV... being young and naïve we stopped in at a local Scottsdale Mercedes Benz dealer... were led into the Manager's mahoghany lined office (should had been a clue), were offered coffee in China cups, and seated at a huge leather topped desk in over-stuffed leather chairs. (smaller then the Managers... and lower.). After more then appropriate delay the Manager (God) arrived (suit,tie,Rolex,humidor). Polite enough, but it was clear we were out of our element... when I tried to price offer ...was met with a terse... "we don't haggle". And, the interaction promptly (uncomfortably for us)ended. Wife and I drove home in silence... appropriately embarrassed. Now that we can afford their gilded offerings we have never returned ...remembering how we were made to feel. morale to the story... wrong place , wrong time. But worth remembering. We have voted with our wallets and choose not to give them our business...ever. Doesn't effect them in the least, but makes us feel better. I suggest you do the same. CharlesWhat is wrong with any person or business having nice things? I have almost all of the things you mentioned that the dealer had, sans a humidor, since I don't smoke. I wear the watch frequently, prefer to drink my coffee from a real coffee cup instead of Styrofoam (better for the environment too) and the suit goes on when the situation calls for it. Would it make my business any more attractive if all I had was ratty t-shirts, mis-matched socks, a trash can full of paper coffee cups and judged the time of day by looking at the sun? If a person's wardrobe or a business's furniture and fixtures can intimidate you out of making a purchase the problem probably resides in the mirror. As for not negotiating, one of the biggest complaints you see with automobile dealers and RV dealers and Boat dealers is that you have to negotiate to get the best price. In your example, the dealer holds firm to their pricing, no haggling necessary and now that is a problem. Not sure it is possible to have both fair pricing and a horse trading environment.
westernrvparkowner 01/21/15 11:09am General RVing Issues
RE: Help on campground directories

Hello everyone, Please be assured the 2015 Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is still a vital cmapground directory, with over 13,000 listings for RV parks and campgrounds, including 2,100+ Good Sam Parks. As well as listings you'll find a whole host of useful information, color maps, destination and trip ideas as well as money saving coupons. It continues to provide the trusted 10/10*/20 Good Sam ratings for campgrounds and RV parks. The ratings are not in any way determined, or connected to, the advertising RV parks and campgrounds choose to place in the guide. Regards, Ellen Tyson Sr Marketing & Product Manager Good Sam RV Travel & Savings GuideSo the guide continues as always, ratings for all the listed private parks (there has never been ratings for public parks, state parks etc.). To expand upon another remark, it is impossible to list all potential parks, since many are not known to publisher. New parks appear and disappear. Certain parks do not fall under the criteria to be listed, such as being totally private, not allowing any public access, not offering overnight accommodations, being of a size smaller than the minimum to be listed in the book. Then parks can choose to not be listed. They can just plain run the reviewer out of the park on a rail or request that the park not be included in the directory. Though you will never convince some people of the truth, the ads make no difference in the ratings. There are plenty of parks with high ratings that have no ads whatsoever. What you will seldom see is a low scoring park with a big ad. The reason for that is not some great conspiracy, but common logic. Why would you pay to advertise in a publication that says your product is junk? It would be a waste of money. You really don't need aliens, secret societies, under the table payoffs, crooked reviewers and the like to create an environment where the parks that advertise tend to have high scores. Common sense suffices.
westernrvparkowner 01/20/15 10:00am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Does closing the laptop disconnect from wifi?

It would be better for everyone if this park owner installed software on his end to disconnect after a pre-determined period of time.That's great until YOU get disconnected in the middle of something important.
westernrvparkowner 01/19/15 10:41am Technology Corner
RE: Passport America

How much reducing price increases demand is of course up to debate, but the 'invisible hand' works in mysterious ways and demand will increase with lower price. Can I prove or say how, no but there is hundreds of years of proof when it is measured.Yes, Adam Smith was right, demand rises as prices fall. But if you made it to the second lecture of Econ 51 you would have learned that demand can be either "elastic" meaning price is very important to demand or "inelastic" meaning it is not very sensitive to pricing. RV sites tend to be relatively inelastic. The pricing of RV sites is generally not the driver of whether or not someone is going to travel in a specific area. Then you have consider the relationship of pricing to profitability. If a product cost $9.00, you would much rather sell 100 of them at $20 than sell 10 times as many of them at $10 ($1100 gross profit at $20 vs $1000 gross profit at $10) even though your gross revenue would be much greater selling 1000 ($2000 is sales at $20 vs $10,000 in sales at $10). Lower prices that lead more volume and gross revenue are not always in the best interest of a business.
westernrvparkowner 01/09/15 08:39am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Passport America

Its a gimmick for both parties. If it was a very good one, you would see more members on both sides. We choose not to be one. Max I disagree that it is a gimmick. If you, as a park owner, offer PPA for your slow times, you entice people to stay who might not have stayed without the discount, If you are filling a spot that would have stayed empty, you win, If I get it for half price, I win too. If I like the place, I might stay on my way through next time, even if I can't get half price. Once again, you win, and I stay at a place I am familiar with. As a park owner, I don't see the down side- filling spots that would have been empty anyway. As a bonus, if people like it and put reviews out there stating that, you win again. Unless you are full all the time anyway.... SueNot necessarily true. Most parks wouldn't get a lot more guests no matter what the price. Say the park was at Glacier National Park. Lowering the price from $20 to $40 wouldn't draw any additional people to area. Nobody is in their RV saying we would go to Northern Montana in May if only the RV parks were 50% off. What would happen is a few of the guests that are in the area who would have stayed in that park for full price will, instead, pay half price. That costs the park money. For example, say there are 20 guests in the park at $40.00 per night. That's $800 gross. If 10% are Passport members they would take advantage of the discount if it was available, so the Gross goes down to $760.00 Now the park has to find two additional guests to break even on the gross income line and probably a third new guest is needed before they break even on the net income line, since their costs have risen (to get to the $800 gross they now have to have 22 rigs using services instead of 20 rigs if they just charged full price). If adding that third rig covers all the costs, they don't make an extra dime unless they can attract a fourth new customer (a 20% increase in business, not easy at any pricing level). Now the park has taken on the additional workload of 20% more business, meaning more trash to haul, more restrooms to clean, more sites to clean etc. etc. etc. all to make a fraction of $20.00 (that fourth rig is using utilities too, so they don't net 100% of that twenty dollars either). That's why we would never consider it. It just moves customers from full pay to discount customers.
westernrvparkowner 01/08/15 09:19am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: campgrounds with cable boxes

Yes, it is encryption by the cable company that makes the converter box necessary. They have done this for several reasons. The most obvious is to prevent theft of service. Who hasn't known or at least heard of someone who tapped into the cable company's system and got their service for free? However, the biggest reason is by having a system that requires a set-top box the cable company can then tap into the video on demand market, which is where they make their big bucks. The converter box you get at check-in is usually a special "budget commercial box" that doesn't allow two way communications, but every subscriber's home boxes will allow you to get all that juicy pay per view content. The alternative for the park is to set up their own private cable system with head end units, converters, amplifiers and the like. They will still pay a per site fee to the cable company, but the hookups for the guests will remain as they were in the past just hookup, scan for channels and you are good to go. The downsides to the park are such systems are very expensive to purchase (10s of thousands of dollars), the cable company may decide to not allow the park the use of the current wiring, requiring another multiple tens of thousands of dollars or upgrades by the park. Plus, such systems require an individual converter for each channel the park broadcasts and there is a fee for each channel. Thus it is really only practical to have a few dozen channels at most. Kind of hard for a park to justify a few hundred dollars for a converter and a recurring monthly charge to offer a channel only one or two people would ever want to watch, so the parks are left to decide what is a popular channel to include and what channels should just be left off (and there are certain channels that carry a high premium to include, I.E. ESPN at over $6.00 per month per site, a very high price for a seasonal park to pay ($7200 year for a 100 site park only open 6 months a year since you have to pay for the services on an annual contract with many cable companies and with parks like mine, ESPN doesn't really have a lot of customer valuable content in the summer, since it is really only golf, tennis and baseball where the big draw to ESPN is football, basketball and hockey seasons). So to make the long story short, when the cable company goes to encryption there are only three bad options for the parks. 1. the converter box 2. Big investments in a private cable system 3. Stop offering cable. (for the record, we chose #2, sans ESPN)
westernrvparkowner 12/14/14 09:31am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Fulltiming with 8 K9's RV parks? lol

Thier suggestion, also if I register them as comfort dogs , others may do the same. Misrepresenting the nature of the dogs will probably not help matters. It may in fact make it more difficult for people who have actual service dogs. http://pleasedontpetme.com/differences.php And why please tell me I am misrepresenting them, I have heart problems and they comfort me and keep mine and hubbys blood pressure down. I didn't say SERVICE dogs I said comfort dogs.. theres a big difference. Unless you HAVE experience with certain rv parks n pets PLEASE DON'T COMMENT! Thanks to the rest for your kind replies.I haven't posted in these forums for a while, and I will be signing off as soon as I finish this post, but the guy wants real world experience, so here it is. 1. NO WAY would we allow eight dogs. We have a two dog limit and make multiple exceptions yearly, but eight is too many. 2. Lie about the number of dogs and that will get you a ticket out. At my parks, asking permission is much better than expecting forgiveness. I have zero tolerance for people attempting to circumvent my policies by telling lies. 3. Implying that your dogs are potentially covered by ADA laws, thus frightening un-informed owners and managers into accepting your dogs when they otherwise would not is beyond reprehensible. There are people who require Service Animals and trading off their unfortunate circumstances for personal gain is on par with conning the blind by telling them a five dollar bill is really a twenty or stealing a wheelchair bound woman's purse because she is easy to outrun. I would take great pleasure in escorting anyone who tries such unscrupulous tactics off my property. There, real world, first hand answers.
westernrvparkowner 10/03/14 01:03pm Full-time RVing
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