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Old 11-02-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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What would you like to see in a RV park?

The love of my life and I want to build a RV park. We've been taking notes at the places we've stayed at. Here's a start of our ideas so far. 1) Space between units. Not an RV parking lot like several KOA's. 2)Back in spaces where the driver can look over the left shoulder & use their window to see. No more blind side backing ups. 3) Pull throughs with a 30' length double wide for tow/toad parking. 4) A large building for rally gatherings.5) level spots. Any other ideas & photos posted would be very welcome. If you see something you would like repeated, tell us. Tell us about the bad things to avoid. The park is still in our planning stage in our heads. Nothing has been built yet. Where do you think a park is needed. We would like to be open year round & not seasonal.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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We do not stay in many RV Parks, but when we do we look for pet friendly parks. We really like parks that have an area fenced for our dogs to get some exercise off the leash.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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Great idea..lots of work though...

Walking Trails - and must a Dog off lead area.

Always stuff for the kiddies that travel but very little for the pets that travel.

Here in Ontario they are finally recognizing the market of people who travel with Pets and now include them in many of the better class hotels - having a specific floor. I know not RV's but a demographic you don't want to turn away....would love to see a statistic on the number of Rv'ers that travel with pets....

Don't forget your fire pits and half decent picnic tables.

Tuck shop is always great and your dang I forgot my????? section to include important RV supplies.

Shade trees and natural privacy screens between sights..

Good luck with your venture sounds great!
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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A dog run, trailer washing area, fire pits, a dog run, laundry facilities, trees and greenery, a dog run, swimming pool, hot tub, wireless internet, did I mention a dog run?
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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Five point hook-ups are a must for us. That's electric, water, sewer, cable, and wifi. We have spent 322 nights in our Lucy since June, 2006, the vast majority of them in private campgrounds. These are the features we look primarily look for.

You should also consider several bare bones pull throughs at the front of your CG for one nighters passing through. These should be super level so you don't even have to unhook.

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Old 11-02-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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Humm. How about lower taxes? No joke! Here at our teensy-weensy 28-site park, right at a third of what we take in goes for federal, state and local taxes. Take another third to pay for incredibly expensive utilities (charged at the "business rate" whenever they can get away with it). That last third gets divided between park maintenance/upkeep/improvement and us.

My advice: Don't do it unless you are willing to live on very little cash, and unless you are experienced with being tied to home for weeks and weeks on end. Living without a lot of money wasn't that difficult for us; it just requires some creativity. But being tied down here for such long periods is really tough.


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Old 11-02-2008, 09:57 PM   #7
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What would you like to see in a RV park?

Something that isn't necessarily in the RV Park, but very important to me as a Free Wheeler is well-placed, informative signage (that doesn't require binoculars to read) at a regular interval on the most likely approaches to the park. Even with my GPS, I still like to have the reassurance of good signage to point the way!

Another feature that does not appeal to me as a Free Wheeler is a park where the only pull-throughs are in the section designed for motorhomes. I don't necessarily need to keep my tow vehicle attached to my trailer, but I don't really want the added stress of backing into a space. One of my favorite RV Parks has pull-throughs -- two at each end of their rows of 12 spaces. Another of my favorite parks has an alternate take on pull-throughs -- all of their back-to-back sites are designed such that they are pull-throughs for the first arrivals -- it means arriving by 1:00 p.m. to insure being one of the fortunate to be able to pull-through, but it is a concession well worth making as this park is located in popular summer Rocky Mountain resort area (the down-side to this arrangement is limited privacy to the rear of each site).

WiFi is a near necessity for my travels as I am often taking on-line courses to keep my teacher's certificates up-to-date.

I am also one who prefers five-point hook-ups. One of my greatest frustrations is a site where the sewer connection is raised significantly above ground level -- the Vintage coaches that I own do not have the ground clearance of many of the modern coaches and many of the RV Parks where I have stayed have had elevated sewer connections that are higher than the discharge location on my coach.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:42 PM   #8
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What would I like to see in an RV park.

Hi, I would like to see a lot of things. A laundry room with more than two machines. A dog area for city dogs; My dogs had to walk on hard, sharp, gravel to get to a small area with thornes, foxtails, and a rusty chainlink fence. City dogs need grass, trees, a fire hydrant Etc. My dogs would go for days without going, because of unfamiliar type suroundings and it cost me a bag full of money to have my Vet, do surgery to remove a foxtail from my dog's foot. My dogs have all passed away, but my experience is that traveling to RV parks was not fun for them. Now back to people; How about something to do? Game room, miniature golf, trout farm lake, bike pathes, and a supply store that stays open past 5PM. I have been to too many campgrounds where there is nothing to do; Park trailer, stare at your spouse, watch all 3 channels of fuzzy TV, go to sleep, next morning move-on. I have been to a few parks where they have something going on all the time. Outdoor movies, ice cream socials, games for kids, nice scenic area to ride a bike or walk your dog. [or cat] I was at one place where they had a local, honest, reasonably priced RV mechanic on call and near by. I was broken down in Utah and had to drive 300 miles round trip to Salt Lake City, the only place in the entire state that stocked common trailer parts so I could take care of a bad wheel bearing. I would like to see an RV park that doesn't wait years to repair things. I was at an RV park where the phone lines and TV antenna connectors were broken, smashed, and ripped out of place; My friend asked about the cable connections and they said they would call the cable company Monday. We were leaving Sunday. This would be understood if it wasn't obvious that all of the boxes in our area of the park were broken and have been for quite a while. [note;: the connections were all working for the permament residents] These are just some of the little inconveinences that we should not have to deal with whether we stay for one night, one week, or longer.

Sorry that this seems to be, and is, a lot of complaining, but you asked.
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:14 AM   #9
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Free WiFi and trees. And more grass and more trees.
Away from the highway and train tracks.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:03 AM   #10
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A fact of life these days is that you will have a few full timers in any RV Park, but please, make everyone keep their rigs and sites clean and presentable. We had a new little park constructed here locally. It was so pretty and convenient. Our friends would stay in it while visiting the area. Now we can't get any of them to stay in it for the eyesores created by the few full-timers in it. There is nothing wrong with being a full timer, but there is wrong in anyone living like a pig.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:10 AM   #11
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If you want to copy from the best......

...spend a week or so at Disney's Fort Wilderness campground.

Just about every amenity expressed previously is there.

Leash Free Dog Park, WiFi (Premium WiFi is extra, but worth it if you use it for work), everything works, immediate maintenance (they will even fix some of the things on your trailer - don't tell them I said that), friendly and punctual, on site store, security, clean comfort and wash stations, dog friendly and dog free loops, nightly campfire and family movie.

They DO NOT provide help with backing in, but WILL work with you and attempt to find an easier site for you to back into - they do have a few pull through sites. They are NOT CHEAP $55 or so a night, but various discounts are available. As with most State Parks, reserving a particular site is difficult for the occasional user. There are enough loops with slightly different character (large grassy areas or lots of trees or kids or proximity to food or mostly retired people or pool or ....).

Anyone even remotely thinking about opening a trailer/RV park owes it to themselves to experience the service there.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World - wdwinfo.com

I usually stay at State Parks, and generally avoid commercial camp grounds, but Fort Wilderness is head and shoulders above the other commercial operations, in my opinion FW is simply the best.

More Info...

http://fly.hiwaay.net/~jlspence/faq_fw.htm
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:44 AM   #12
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go to any resort type campground and checkout the type of units that you see pulling in.fort wilderness is one of our favorites.i also check woodalls ratings and tend to try to stay at 5 star facilities.security is a feature that i think is important especially if people are not considerate after quiet hours.i am willing to pay a resort price for all the amenities.i will always ask for a preferred site since you usually get put in next to bigger more upscale units.i know in my area the resort camgrounds are harder to get reservations at.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:46 AM   #13
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1. Natural privacy barrier with shade between sites. Don't want to see my neighbor.

2. Miles of hiking trails nearby allowing well behaved dogs off the leash. (I know, it will never happen)

3. Location location location. Sites adjacent to Water (lake, ocean, or river) far away from urban noise and clutter.

4. Absolutely no cable or wifi (attracts to much riff-raff)

5. Electric and water would be nice with very clean shower houses nearby.

Thank you for asking
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:52 AM   #14
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Something "different" would be a handful of spaces near the front that are pull-through, and wouldn't require going all the way around the park at 5 am, for the people that are only staying overnight while traveling. This would help both the traveler, for obvious reasons, but also the other people that are staying a few days. They wouldn't get woken when that big honkin' diesel bus or tow vehicle goes knocking by.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:08 AM   #15
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3 Dog,

This question is similar to asking what is the best tow vehicle. Just look at the many opinions on that one.

We have been traveling about eight months of the year for the past couple of years and when you spend this much time on the road I think you become more of a realist. A safe secure park, clean facilities, and a price that reflects the services you receive.

Like any business it is important to determine who your customers are and what price point they are willing to pay. Not sure what the current economic climate has done to the Resort park business but I am always surprised that some of these parks can demand as much as $149/nite. For example look at the Elkhorn Ridge Park in Spearfish SD. A beautiful park with loads of ammenites but who are these customers? How many times will they return? What is the average occupancy rate of these parks.

RV parks serve different purposes to different people. Many of the places along I75 to Florida are simply pull off places for northerners to overnite on their way south. Others along the highway are close to attractions and offer a plethora of services. As stated earlier a couple of the constants that everyone wants is safe/secure, clean and a price that reflects services.

Best of luck with your project.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:09 AM   #16
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Place the city water faucet at least 12" above the ground. I don't know how many times that I've stopped at a CG and found the water hook up faucet about 2.5" from the ground. This makes it a major pain to connect. During the time that I am connecting, I am grumbling to myself that the person who set up this CG has obviously never hooked up an RV.

Also, the CGs with two sewer drops per site are really nice. This allows RV placement where you want on the site without dragging out several sew extension hoses. We run into this problem a lot with an FB where the door is at the rear of the trailer. We get our door step on the pad, and we're far from the sewer drop.

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Old 11-03-2008, 08:18 AM   #17
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Airstream only part.. keep all those buses and rif raff on the other side.. just joking... But keep like size trailers together... Some times is sucks being between two massive motor homes...
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GStephens View Post
A fact of life these days is that you will have a few full timers in any RV Park, but please, make everyone keep their rigs and sites clean and presentable. We had a new little park constructed here locally. It was so pretty and convenient. Our friends would stay in it while visiting the area. Now we can't get any of them to stay in it for the eyesores created by the few full-timers in it. There is nothing wrong with being a full timer, but there is wrong in anyone living like a pig.
GStephens
It is tough. We've learned to distinguish among different groups:

1. People who literally live in their RVs, but not out of economic distress. Often having large rigs, they travel somewhat less often and usually stay put for about a month. They call themselves "full timers." Pretty quiet and clean.

2. Retired folks escaping from summer heat, more or less the reverse of snowbirds. Often with mid-sized rigs, they're pretty quiet and clean. (Actually, we have a small group of this type with the opposite stripe: Retirees who come in smack in the middle of winter for the ski slopes, where those over 70 receive a major discount. Also clean and quiet.)

For the two types above, we hold back six or eight sites for the season.

3. Construction crews. These are often rotating crews working some major project in the area; they often stay in a rig owned by the contractor. Avoid these.

4. Economic refugees. Very poor folks who have managed to pick up a "hunters special," an RV that is basically non-functional in all respects, but does provide a roof of sorts. Avoid these.

We developed a few strategies to filter out those that we don't want (and to preserve our own sanity):

a. We strongly encourage folks staying more than on a weekly basis to use their own bathroom facilities. (Among other things, this removes the economic refugees from the table.)

b. Our monthly rates are stated as a sliding scale, from less expensive than other parks in the region to a good deal more expensive. If people come to the office wanting monthly, and we feel uncomfortable with them, we simply quote the high-end rate, and away they go.

c. We literally close the park for a month or more in the fall and, again, for a month or more in the spring. This gives you a clean slate, so to speak.


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Old 11-03-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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If the spaces are not naturally screened or too close together, what's the point? We just laugh and keep on driving or boondock somewhere. Having a good website with photos of the actual sites and the park in general would help with travel decisions.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:44 AM   #20
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5 Star

Think 5 star resorts. Clean, really really clean restrooms, pool, sites, fire ring/grill, garbage cans at each site or every other site that is emptied each day. A nice restaurant or bar, a pool that you can swim laps. A well landscaped, well groomed lawns. Repair wear including the lawns, I hate tracking dirt into the Airstream. I really hate when the dog does it too.

5 point hook-ups are a must as others on this thread have stated. Concrete pads for the trailer and picnic table. Bug control, paved roads, and grassy areas for the dog.

A nice store with stuff that is not canned or frozen for dinner, for those that blast in and need something to eat and not wanting processed foods.

NO PERMINATE Sites, man I hate looking at a site that the guy has the big deck, bird bath and every lawn ornament that you can think of around his trailer and the big old tool shed he uses as a bar!

I'm not a fan of rustic camping, I don't do a whole lot of time in a state park campground, you know the site that is over used and worn out, dirty and the grounds covered with old cigarette butts and chewed up sunflower seeds. Keep it modern.

I like campgrounds near or even in the middle of attractions, I like activity in a resort atmosphere. Check out the new sites at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH they are close to what I am talking about.

Just one way I would spend the money I save by traveling in my Airstream!
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