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Old 12-01-2003, 04:07 PM   #15
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Well at least she is making an attempt! I can understand her side of it to a point. But there has to be more than just Walmart if a campground is on the verge of bankruptcy. There have been several that for a variety of reasons I will no longer grace with my presence, their going bankrupt would not hurt my feelings at all. If I wanted to spend $40+ a night, especially for a short night I would stay in a cheap motel! I think too many of the campground owners and management are looking at RV's as a cash cow, get as much money as you can while you can. On the flip side of that, there are plenty of honest campground owners that give you great value for your money. But when the cost of an overnight stay at a campground is equal to or exceeds that of a low to moderate priced motel room you have a problem. JMO FWIW we have looked into the possiblity of developing a campground in our area, the intial costs can be prohibitive and even more so if you want to align yourself with someone like KOA. But from what I have seen most campgrounds have been long established and have been taking in the money for a long time. Now the time has come to pay the piper and upgrade and they don't have the money to do it, so they want to raise rates to cover for their lack of a poor business plan or planning period!

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Old 12-01-2003, 04:11 PM   #16
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So if I read this right:

The campgrounds that are on the verge of bankruptcy don't want to offer an overnight rate and want the local commission to ban what is their competition. Sounds like someone needs to look at their business plan?

I wonder if Wal Mart would be willing to share what the RV'ers purchases add up to in increased sales tax and supporting Wal Mart?

I doubt that once the law is enacted that the campgrounds will offer any kind of overnight rate. I know if I was an owner and had the law on my side I would be sure to watch the Wal Mart and drive the customers to a campground, mine if possible. This would only benefit the campground owners. If the RV'ers are only overnighting I do not see how this is a major issue, but as a business owner I can understand wanting to protect their livelihood.
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:24 PM   #17
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I posted these thoughts on another thread but most ma and paw campgrounds are not cash cows. Unless you are in a year round climate or resort area, many of these folks are not making big bucks. I looked into buying one some time ago and when you have to service the mortgage, pay the liability insurance, and supply the hook ups that folks are demanding there is precious few $$ left. The common thread I heard amongst many owners was that you live like a pauper and retire like a king (based on the land value when you sell).

If you are giving an overnight rate then you need to restrict the services you give to folks. I've seen a lot of folks registering and stating that they don't want to pay the price for using the air conditioner and then turn around and use it. How many Rver's do you see running the A/C with the doors and windows open? How's that figure into the owner's cost of doing business?

I have watched the Wal-Mart's and Sam's Clubs in the St. Louis area and have never seen more than one unit per night. I would have some problems myself if I started seeing 88 units sitting at our local Wal-Mart. I bet the local municipal authorities would also.

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Old 12-01-2003, 04:48 PM   #18
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Many people prefer a free overnight in a Wall-Mart lot over a commercial CG. Wall Mart has no electric, water, or dump, and has terrible scenery - but it's free, convenient, and never full. This should send a message to CG owners... IMHO most commercial CG's are awful - junky, sites too close together, dirty washrooms. I avoid them, and prefer to stay in State Parks, Forest Service CG's, etc... For an enroute/overnight I have stayed in a Wall Mart lot a few times. It seems there is an unfulfilled need - for a low cost overnight, minimum facilities CG that is not a pit!
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:54 PM   #19
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Jack,
I am in agreement with your assesment of the smaller campgrounds. We stayed in a KOA in Amarillo, TX...the one out by the airport, near the railroad They asked us when we checked in whether we wanted a transient site or a longer term site. The longer term sites were the choice sites and cost a little more. The transient sites were basically just lined up in a big field. They had the basic hookups, some had cable and some did not. The longer stay sites had patio pads, shade trees, local telephone service, full cable and the like. They were also about $8 a night more if memory serves me. When we looked at the cost of developing a campground the intial up front costs were approaching $250,000 and that was with us doing the majority of the work with equipment we already own. We would have been able to put in around 120 sites of varying sizes. Figure a occupancy rate of around 35% year round and see what you have to charge to break even. Also in this day and age liablity insurance costs have become prohibitive! I would be interested to see why there are 80-90 RV's in their Walmart parking lot. I have seen a lot of Walmart parking lots and never one with that many RV's in it. I think the most I have ever seen was about 12 at one time and that was during an ice storm right along I-95. I wonder if that 80-90 number is the total over a season? But she says it is on occasion. Maybe a compromise would be to limit the number of RV's allowed to overnight at any given time? Perhaps make it seasonal? I know that the Walmart in Myrtle Beach, SC doesn't allow overnight parking due to local ordinance, but drive 15 minutes up the road to Conway, SC and it is OK.

Aaron
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Old 12-01-2003, 05:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmac
Wall Mart has no electric, water, or dump, and has terrible scenery - but it's free, convenient, and never full. This should send a message to CG owners... IMHO most commercial CG's are awful - junky, sites too close together, dirty washrooms.
When we overnight I want the services so we will run the A/C if needed, run the grey water into the sewer and use the water and electric. We don't use campground bath houses so that side isn't an issue with me. I normally do not travel with water. Personally based on some of the Wal-Marts around here, they would probably be one of the last places I would want to stay in.

We are picky where we stay and usually plan our stops. I can probably count on one hand the number of commercial CG overnights that I truly considered not worthy of my money.

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Old 12-01-2003, 10:01 PM   #21
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I know in some sections of the country it is to stop the vagabond traveler that will spend a week or a month in the Wal Mart parking lot with the awning out and chairs out and the BBQ fired up for dinner each night. This is how they "save money" for the trip/season. I feel that it is an abuse of the good will that Wal Mart offers. Most of the time that I have heard of an RV'er being run off a Wal Mart lot it is due to the security guard enforcing the local zoning law, not management.

In some cases I would agree with Jack, services are what I am looking for, but when I am trying to go from A to B and since I have a generator I will avail myself of a Wal Mart when the need arises. I will park a discreet distance away from others so my genset does not disturb and sleep without guilt that I am not paying a fee for a campground. I did the same type of thing when we full timed and the weather was not an issue. I cannot count the nights I spent in outlying lots at truck stops, and in a more than a few Wal Marts.

Unfortunately this all goes back to the idea of being self contained and being able to stop for the night almost anywhere. That was the idea upon which the RV hobby was founded. In todays world it is a sad thing that in many parts of the country we need to huddle together in a well lit parking lot, or pay to stay in a campground so that we can be safe from those that may wish us harm.

In reading the owners manuals of the 60's and early 70's coaches it speaks of finding a wide spot to stop for the night or a edge of a farmers land where you have asked permission to spend the night. Being of course respectful of how you leave the spot where you rested, it was a way to have the freedom of travel and the chance to meet new people that you may well have never met before. I for one cannot envision myself walking up to a strangers door and asking if I can park the night off the edge of their drive or field. I may be met at the door with a firearm or worse. It is a sad fact of life in the world we live in today.

That being said there is a free resource to avail yourself of if you are a member of WBCCI. Courtesy parking. Many have it, few use it. It is a free place to park, with at the minimum rally electric and water. Some have full 3 point hookups. I have used it and have come away richer for the experience.
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:25 AM   #22
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When I'm going from A to B, I use truck stops. Just buy some gas and maybe use the restaurant and you are most welcome to overnight.

I even used the furnace all night using only the unit's batteries.

I felt rather insignificant when I got up in the morning with a huge semi on each side of my trailer.
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:27 PM   #23
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I know what you mean Gordon. Last big trip we took to Charleston.,SC my alternator died at night on the road home. We barley made it to a truckstop where we spent the night amongst 100 or so tractors. Everytime one pulled in past me I could feel the rig shake a little, as we could only find aspot to park at the end of the line. Did manage to get some rest though, and headed out in daylight when I could run without lights on. Had enough juice to power us home.
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:08 AM   #24
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Truckstops

Yeppers Alan, and Gordon..
and if you enjoyed the experiences as I have in those Truck Stops, you were able to have a hot shower, in a private shower room, with big thick freshly laundered towels---for a buck 50---

B 4 YOUR BREKKIE.

On the Wal*Mart subject. I agree with those who say, WM doesn't provide ANY hookups...and I've seen as many as 5 at one time in the ones around the Greater Seattle area...in the middle of the summer/fall season. I think Ms. Harris is growing something in her backyard that she's using that affects her judgment, if she thinks she's seen as many as 88 at one time.
Why doesn't someone phone the Wal*Mart and ask the manager there?? He or she will be accurate and certainly tell you the truth about how they feel regarding our occasional emergency 'sleep-overs'. THEN,,,we'll eMail Ms. Harris and see what her answer is.

THAT said,..how could ANYONE ever think an RVer would want to stay in a gravelled discount retail parking lot longer than to just catch a few winks....get real!
like!>>> how many 'tailgaters' with barbeque smoke rising, has Mrs. Harris seen?

People don't know how to travel when they think that's all that's available to them is a retail chain parking lot, or an overpriced KOA. The self-containment of Airstreams make it possible to stop by covered bridges, etc. Plus, talk is cheap...and I don't know how many times I've found a free place to park, just because I chatted-it-up with the local gas-station attendant or breakfast house waitress. This is the reason for the road....anyone else ever read John Steinbeck's "Travels With Charlie". ? I wouldn't travel any other way. Besides, Wal*Marts are notoriously on the edge of major cities... I for one, do not find myself looking for a place to R&R when I'm that close to a metropolis... I would,however, look for one, if I were in between cities, and lacking in sleep. (I have a hunch this is what motivates others to stop there...nothing more.)

Having a photographer's or writer's curiousity lends itself toward people who extend a place by the creek... or beside the barn. The REAL AMERICA---the REAL CANADA
I'm so proud to be one of each...and grateful I have the means to check out it's great citizenry.
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Old 12-06-2003, 08:33 AM   #25
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Re: Truckstops

Quote:
Originally posted by Cat
Why doesn't someone phone the Wal*Mart and ask the manager there?? He or she will be accurate and certainly tell you the truth about how they feel regarding our occasional emergency 'sleep-overs'. THEN,,,we'll eMail Ms. Harris and see what her answer is.

Interesting idea, Cat. Feel free call them in Whitehorse and report back! I'd like to hear some more first-hand info.

Roger
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:29 PM   #26
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Roger,

I had a conversation with a lady who lives in Whitehorse this past week.
Apparently the RV parking problem is just that. I understand now why everyone is so bent out of shape. We are talking upwards of 80, yes eighty RV's that stay more than one night, run their slide rooms out, put up their BBQ's and lawn mats and chairs.
The residence of Whitehorse pay a good price for their water as well.
These RV's who stay on the Wal mart land, then go and dump and fill their tanks at the campgrounds. Some have also used the car washing facilities these campground owners provide for their guests free of charge.
This gal said they tried to limit the number of RV's that camp at their Wal Mart, but that did not work either.
So many are camping and abusing Wal Marts hospitality, that regular shoppers are finding it tough to park. The traffic mayhem is so bad with cars and pedestrians weaving in and around parked RVs, a safety issue has been raised.
I haven't spoken directly with Yvonne Harris yet, I'll do so after they have their council meeting.
I mailed her a couple of my ideas, so I'll wait to hear back.

This appears to be a classic case of a few ruining it for all of us. Unfortunately, the RV Business article omitted the RV count. They just stated in their article that Whitehorse wanted to ban Wal Mart RV parking. No further info was presented and I drew my own conclusion. Jumped a little to high, I think.
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:08 PM   #27
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Jack said:
Quote:
I looked into buying one some time ago
I looked on whitehorsetourism.ca and see there are only two campgrounds in Whitehorse.

When you consider that there is now an influx of upwards of 80 RVers per night looking for new lodging in Whitehorse, Jack are you sure you don't want to reconsider this investment?

I'm not a high mileage RVer. I've not yet stayed at a Wal-Mart although I can recall a couple of times when I was sleepy and looking for ANYWHERE safe to stop.

Why couldn't Wal-Mart set aside a small 10 space parking area and set a time limit of six hours for each RV visitor? I'd wager most of those 80 units had been at this Wal-Mart for more than a few hours.

Scott
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Old 12-06-2003, 08:22 PM   #28
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This summer our local Wall-Mart had several RV's parked in the outlot for most of the summer - the same RV's for months at a time! They had their toad cars unhooked and parked next to their units, the awnings out, lawn chairs, picnic tables... It looked like a mobile home court, complete with the trashy people. I think a one-night limit would help the situation.
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