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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Building New Campground. Opinions Welcome!

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Tvov

CT

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Joined: 07/19/2003

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Posted: 03/13/19 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wifi is the way to go -- if, and only if, you set it up to be strong enough and fast enough for everyone to be streaming movies at the same time. Otherwise have cable, and maybe "limited" wifi - and be HONEST about the wifi capability and location. Just because the far corner of the campground gets 1 bar wifi reception on a full moon with a west wind does not mean "full wifi coverage". Try to have someone on staff who knows how your wifi / cable / internet system works, so when there are problems they hopefully can solve them quickly.

Plan on not making any money for a while... you need to get the customers, so your prices have to be the same, or below, neighboring campgrounds to draw business. And those neighboring campgrounds were installed / built 50 years ago, so they aren't trying to recover startup costs.

We've found that electric and water campsites with "grey water drain" to be great. I assume it is a lot less expensive to do that instead of running sewer to all the sites. You could start with that, maybe planning on full hookups in the future. Your campground dumpsite, I assume, would be where all the sewer lines would eventually lead to.

Make sure your electric system can handle all the campers running their air conditioners at the same time.

Have an electrician either on staff, or available for emergency service!

Camp store (assuming you are planning on having one): Keep it clean and organized, keep the stock (Especially food and snacks!!) fresh and up to date. You can tell when people who have really RV'd setup a store - all sorts of little repair items that the "normal" supply display (like at a Walmart) doesn't have. One campground had a barrel full of used water and sewer connections for $1 each, or free with exchange. It was great because you could figure out somehow how to connect something to something else inexpensively.

If you want to setup an arcade game room, that is fine... just make sure all the machines work. I don't think I've ever been to any campground where all the video machines worked, or even most of them.

See if you can make arrangements with a local RV repair place to take care of emergency repairs for your customers. Having a mobile RV tech available is even better. You will get a lot of good reviews if people need repair work done and are greeted with "You are from ***** campground? Come right in! You go to the front of the line.". It just makes a person feel good.

If you are going to have a pool, have a heated pool. Keep it sparkling clean as much as possible. And be Honest about when it is open - season and hours. One campground we don't go to anymore had a pool that wasn't open in the spring or fall because it wasn't heated, and during the summer it seemed to be always out of service. They were not being honest about the pool - they really didn't have one available for most of the season (if it was ever open).

Bathrooms - yes, most RV'rs use their own bathroom, but clean campground bathrooms make a big impression. On weekends you need a staff member (or better yet a crew) to clean them every day. One top rated campground we've been to had a 4 (four!) person crew clean the bathrooms Twice(!) a day on weekends - I believe they were workcampers. Made a big positive impression on us!

Seasonal / long term campers - be very, very careful about this. Yes, seasonals provide a steady money stream, but... one campground owner said that sure the steady income was fine, but the seasonals never went near the camp store, where he made a substantial profit on snacks and knick-nacks. He said it was close, but that the "weekenders" were more profitable than the seasonals. This was his experience at his campground, yours might be different.

Also, as has been mentioned, if seasonals "take over" a campground, you are going to have plenty of empty sites on weekends because your campground will develop a reputation for nasty seasonals and people will stay away. At a minimum, enforce the campground rules equally!

Not trying to be too down on seasonal campers, but we've been to a bunch of campgrounds where our experience was maybe not ruined, but at least dampened greatly by nasty seasonals.

Then again, at one of our favorite campgrounds (Riverbend in Oneco, Connecticut), the seasonals there are Great and make for wonderful weekend experiences!

I could go on and on about a "perfect" campground. Regarding the true phrase "if you try to please everyone, no one will be pleased"... when in doubt, set things up the way YOU would like them - most likely a lot of other people like the same things the same way!


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myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 03/13/19 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will have to comply with various codes and regulations, two major ones being NFPA 1194 Standard for
Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds (older "free" version here) and NEC article 551. There's likely to be other regs like local enviromental.

NFPA 1194 covers requirements for sanitation (including pipe dia. and slope), potable water, roads, site layouts, water/electrical/sewer locations on a site, fire safety, common washroom/laundry/shower facilities. The NEC covers all electrical requirements for RV Parks, including numbers of 50 & 30 amp sites (40% of a CG is now required to be 50 amps). I can't see building a CG without hiring a consultant & engineering firm who will prepare and submit plans to the local AHJ.


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Veebyes

Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 03/13/19 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are all kinds of wants, all kinds of expectations.

We are kind of simple. OTA TV is good enough but cable is a treat. Good CG wide WIFI is expected. A laundry is also expected. Don't need FHU but a dump that makes sense is important. Power & water are good enough. All sites back in are OK as long as they are long enough. State park spacing is wonderful. Camp cram-em-in is not. Something in between is acceptable. Don't care about a pool, putt putt golf or any of the other so-called resort stuff. Not even likely to look if Resort is in the name.

12 miles from the exit is a stretch for 1 night. 12 miles is at least 3 gal diesel at whatever a gal added.

Always hold some sites non reservable. They will be deeply appreciated & remembered by those who travel on a loose schedule. Might even keep an overflow area looking nice if necessary for dry camping.


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Ralph Cramden

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Posted: 04/01/19 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reading through an article at Rvbusiness that linked HERE brought this recent thread to mind. Not exactly the full blown rural part of West Virgina neither, right outside of Charleston and Huntington.

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