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Old 02-18-2010, 11:51 PM   #43
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Wow, you really got this topic going. Great post, lots of interest with really thoughtful responses. My favorite one is the beer tap although maybe the realistic implementation would be a daily 4pm manager's social with open keg and chips and salsa. I'll drink fast so you can cut us off at 5pm to save some of the keg for tomorrow.

One of our favorite finds is family showers. Okay, there are just the two of us, but we still qualify as a family, right? Ya never know where you'll find these nice roomy fun showers -- the state park south of Pendleton, Oregon (Emigrants Pass, I think) has one. And a private campground in Hillsville, Virginia, had one. See, we remember these places for this feature and we will return.

Some private and some state parks offer primitive parking that is really nicer than their developed sites. Two examples are Kentucky Horse Park where you can camp in the large meadow for considerably less cost. No hookups, no facilities but who cares for such a gorgeous 5 acre campsite? The other was near Versailles, Ohio, at Lake Loramie State Park. Except we were at LL SP for Memorial Day last year with every single person in Ohio. But we had two really nice nights before they came and claimed their state park from us. Whoops!

Ditto on Moosetags overnite spots concept -- sometimes we just want a safe place for overnighting. Don't want to disturb folks, don't need hookups, don't want to unhitch, and might (or not) leave really early tomorrow. And no, we don't want Wal-Mart or Cracker Bbl parking lot this time. We'll stay there when we're really having to knock out the miles.

Ditto on Moosetags raised water hkups. I would enjoy 42" off the ground. Why bend over for this, and I can't see the faucet threads down there all that well anyway.

Ditto Moosetag's double sewer hkup -- the right location for us is wrong for a fifth wheel or a front bed or a moho. So put two of them 12 feet apart, twelve inch square slightly raised concrete curb, threaded four inch pvc for required adapter.

Please have dust free park roads, and we like attractive sites. Nothing so fancy, just neat and no mud or slag. Absaroka Bay cmpgrd in Cody, Wy, and Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Pk in Copper Hill, Va, have both done a great job on these two things without making it all fancy or expensive.

Ditto on everything Janet said, except we don't care so much about site privacy when we visit commercial parks. We enjoy privacy of state and national parks and sometimes strongly feel need to get away and go there. But we also enjoy meeting the neighbors, and find ourselves doing a little meeting and greeting where the campground layout enables it. Heck, we might be the ones you're trying to get privacy from.

Disagree on banning charcoal grills -- some of the best chx we've had was from friend's portable charcoal grill. We use propane grill only for RVing, but you really can't beat the real thing.

Let us know when you want us to workamp this ideal cmpgrd -- or maybe you should enlist a bunch of us to help develop it. Let's see, I would work for place to park my rig plus free beer with chips and salsa daily at manager's 4pm socials. Pretty good deal, might bring in lots of us if the weather is good.

Very best luck as you sort through the responses and your realities,


Chasing 75 Degrees,

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Old 02-19-2010, 12:05 AM   #44
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Things I rarely find but want:
  1. a place to wash my trailer - if I'm at the end of a long trip, even an attendant who would wash it for me (I pay & I tip!)
  2. CLEAN - and damn if I'm paying for more than water and electric, the sewer should actually DRAIN. I generally use my own shower, but occasionally I'm in the mood for a long leisurely shower - until I walk into it....eeeeewh. I don't blame management. An amazing number of people turn into total pigs when they're using someone else's facilities - know you'll have to clean up after them almost constantly.
Others have pointed out that it's really nice to have
  1. A "short stop" area near the front of the camp for the people who want to come in, dump their tanks, sleep for six hours and leave is great. It's not nice to have the big honkin diesel moho with aircraft landing lights instead of normal headlights pull into the next site at 2 am, then depart at 6 the next morning.
  2. the best parks are willing to throw out disruptive, drunken or dangerous people. They also ASSUME that the average guest will have ZERO common sense or courtesy - so they explicitly remind guests to consider their neighbors; don't have massive fires, don't leave your decorative lighting on all night, if you smoke, don't stand next to your neighbors windows when you do it, pick up after yourself and your pets.
  3. I don't support the "no trailer older than 15 years - but no trailer that's unsafe or unsanitary is a good rule. In my semi-permanent camp, my next door neighbor had a non-working toilet - we were close to the bathhouse, but instead of just walking across the street and using it, she and her husband used a 5 gallon bucket, then literally slopped it all the way to the bath house once a day - OMG. Plus she kept 5 dogs (sick and elderly) the smell was unbearable. It took the campground 4 days to toss them out!
You sure you want to do this?

Whatever level of services you decide to provide, do charge enough to make money.... You can't afford to do ordinary repairs and upgrades if you don't have the cashflow right.


Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:42 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Maybe a better question would be "What don't you want to see in an RV Park"

Here's my list of things I don't want to see:
In Minnesota, the state requires campgrounds to have street lights. There's no way around it.

Laws elsewhere may vary.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:18 AM   #46
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I think there are campgrounds of various kinds, and they all find a clientele and level of maintenance and amenities that work for them.

There is, for example, a very successful campground not too far from here where they cater mainly to people with horses. They have stables, trails suitable for trail rides, an arena, and so on. You have to make reservations because they're always full.

I'm not a horse person so I wouldn't try that but the point is that they figured out something missing in the marketplace.

A few campgrounds around here are predominantly seaonal/permanent sites. People bring their 36' 5ers with 3 slides, slide everything out, build a deck, do some landscaping, and use it like a cabin. They close in the winter but I suspect that many of the rigs stay put anyway. Maybe they pull in the slides. The seasonal campers tend to be pretty self-sufficient and don't require much attention from the office, so it looks like a model that works.

There are also a considerable number of resorts around these parts that mainly offer cabins but do have some RV spaces on the side. Usually waterfront locations that offer boating amenities.

The park that offers all things to all people does exist but isn't the only way.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:20 PM   #47
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Two very memorable parks we stayed at, one in New Mexico, one in Arizona: One had no trees at all, but was very well desert landscaped and extremely clean and neat. The very friendly lady who owned it had a 4pm social hour on her covered patio, and was a great gathering place. There were no bathrooms, showers, or other amenities, all lots in the center were pull thru with those against the fences being back-ins. He did charge extra for electricity but the price was right and if we go thru there again we will stay because we had a great time.There were trails to walk down to a large lake where you could swim. And she sent us a Christmas card!

The other was an older park, large with lots of trees, a nice store, good facilities, plenty of pull-thrus, a decent but small laundry, and the best part was an open-air cafe that served nightly, and there was a band for our entertainment. Some permanent residents but they were all at one end of the park and if you didn't want to see them you didn't have to go there. (They were pretty clean, tho). Plenty of place for walking behind the park, close to shopping, and right off the highway so it was easy to find.

We will never say again at one in Amarillo, where we stopped late at night, and the next morning found puddles next to some sewer hookups that reeked, construction crews in residence, terrible roads, not much room to pull in or out, narrow lots with little area for parking, and too close to a major highway. We left very early the next morning.

What means the most to us are cleanliness, ambiance, friendly, sociable owners, and whatever amenities are gravy after that. We usually just use an RV park as a place to park while we explore the area, and just go there to sleep at night, unless we are in a state park where we are vacationing. Of course, we want a fair price!
Jim and Sandy

"To know is nothing at all. To imagine, is everything." --Albert Einstein
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #48
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a park should be just a place where you can relax. and if you cant back in, you shouldnt be pulluin it!
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:07 PM   #49
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One of the nicest features at one of the forum rallies is the campground that has a huge stone firepit approx 10' in diameter and complimentary firewood. It's nice to sit around the fire with people you may not have even had a chance to talk with otherwise.

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Old 02-19-2010, 07:26 PM   #50
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well, my reasons are different...

I want to see all the loud, belligerent, and Rent USA rigs and crews at the RV park. This is because I will be in the national forests, parks, and boondocking. Every gomer at an RV park is one less where I want to be

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Old 02-19-2010, 08:34 PM   #51
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I've never had much trouble with people in rv parks, but I hope I dont offend anyone. Most private parks are designed for retired people. I like to see things for kids of all ages. Pool, gameroom, playground, ect.. Mabey a place to get a snack and fire pits at the sites. Yes kids are loud, wild, and get on your nerves, but they make life great!! Make it family friendly!
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #52
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A handout that tells the quick basics about anything unique to the way the park operates: for example, wifi set-up (and pw if needed), hours of the tuck shop (if there is one, address of the nearest convenience store if there isn't one).

And so on.

Oh, two more things: cute signup booth babes, and free WiFi and trees.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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