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Old 01-15-2004, 08:41 AM   #43
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request extra towels (no extra fee) because women use more towels than men
Why is that?

I agree that more RV parks should offer "dry camping" spots for those who just want to pull in for the night.

If you are an Escapee, you can dry camp at an Escapee park free the first night .. and then $2.50 per night after that. Too bad they have just 8 parks.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:44 AM   #44
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Walmart

When I'm on the road, I LOVE Walmart. This week I drove by my local WM at about 11AM. There was about 15 BIG rigs in there.
We're getting into the season now and I'm sure we'll have lots of overnighters passing through..$25 buys a lot of latte'.
BTW in Santa Rosa NM it is cheaper to 'motel' than to KOA. What are these people thinking?
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:47 AM   #45
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Re: Walmart

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Originally posted by gregg
We're getting into the season now and I'm sure we'll have lots of overnighters passing through..$25 buys a lot of latte'.
BTW in Santa Rosa NM it is cheaper to 'motel' than to KOA. What are these people thinking?
I posted this thought earlier in the thread but I think it bears repeating since I'm detecting some concern regarding overnight camping rates.

I did a lot of investigation when considering purchasing a campground, but if you are in a normal midwestern type climate, and you are a ma and paw owner, you aren't getting rich. Considering utilities, upkeep, interest on loans, taxes, and the ever burdening insurance bite, most of these folks are not living high off the hog. The quote live like a pauper, retire like a king (value of the property rises) was a frequent comment.

So while I can't defend all these folks and the rates they set, we do need to "walk a mile in their shoes" when we try to understand the rates they set for use of their facilities. So I am sensitive to their concerns if they see a normally non competing business provide services (even if its overnight parking) that hurts their bottom line.

Obviously the consumer votes with his checkbook and as we have seen with Wal-Mart and other big box stores, price is king, with service sometimes being a secondary issue. As we have seen the demise of the small business we have all seen what has happened to the service level. I used to go to the local hardware store where they greated me at the door, asked how they could help and escorted me to the product, I now search for someone or worse yet stand and wait with 5 other folks all trying to talk to the same guy.

Personally I want to save a buck too but the private campground owner is providing me his property to park on. Yes there are ammenities that maybe I want or don't want but I do want to see him survive. It will be a sad day when these folks throw in the towel and those of us traveling to our destination campgrounds end up finding that our only alternative for in-route camping is a parking lot in Wal-Mart or the truck port.

Just a thought from another perspective.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:55 AM   #46
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It seems that there are several different campground markets:

A. Enroute: I need a few hours of sleep and I'm on my way. (ie: Wall Mart)
B. Enroute: I need some sleep - but it's 100 degrees and I want electricity to run my A/C. I need to dump my tanks and fill water upon exit - then I'm on my way. (inexpensive CG)
C. Destination: I am at a destination and will stay a few nights and want it ALL - full hookups, showers, laundry... (RV Park)
D. Destination: I am at a destination and will stay a few nights and love scenery, nature, campfires, and want to be self contained or nearly so. (State Park, National Park, and Forest Service CG)

A CG owner who believes that their "enroute" CG is a "destination" (confusing C with A or B) does so foolishly and at great risk.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:08 AM   #47
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To an extent, I agree with you, Jack, but it is up to the business to provide a service that fits my needs at a price that is commensurate. $25 for a brief overnight stop when enroute just doesn't make economic sense.

The campground in NM that I mentioned earlier had a sign a mile earlier advertising regular W/E hookups with restrooms and showers for $15 and no-frills sites for $5. It was late, I was tired, and I had no desire to hook up utilities. They were happy to get my $5 and I was grateful for a safe, quiet place to stay. I didn't get or want the restroom code.

When enroute, I'll thankfully patronize a RV park that will provide me a safe, level site at a nominal cost.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:48 AM   #48
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options

I have to go along with the idea that times are a changing and destination camping, and storage are the 2 areas most campgrounds concern themselves with.

Many campgrounds do not seem to want to recognize the needs(now that's a businessperson) of the overniter and until they do they are missing out on the bottom line of small businesses, self promotion and the long term gains of word of mouth by being a fair and good businessperson. If I stop at a campground for a few hours and they give me a break, I will come back and spend and am their customer and spread the word.

Why do you think Walmart, Truck stops, etc. lets people stay overnite? Good sound business promotion! Campgrounds need to get on board if they want everymans business and not just high disposible income folks, they can promote themselves anyway they like, it is thr old USA, but complaining about not getting every nickel will never sell in todays marketplace.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:59 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmac
It seems that there are several different campground markets:

A. Enroute: I need a few hours of sleep and I'm on my way. (ie: Wall Mart)
B. Enroute: I need some sleep - but it's 100 degrees and I want electricity to run my A/C. I need to dump my tanks and fill water upon exit - then I'm on my way. (inexpensive CG)
C. Destination: I am at a destination and will stay a few nights and want it ALL - full hookups, showers, laundry... (RV Park)
D. Destination: I am at a destination and will stay a few nights and love scenery, nature, campfires, and want to be self contained or nearly so. (State Park, National Park, and Forest Service CG)

A CG owner who believes that their "enroute" CG is a "destination" (confusing C with A or B) does so foolishly and at great risk.
Good analysis, Dan! Just as airlines provide different levels of service with graduated pricing, perhaps that's not a bad model for campgrounds as well: A daily rate dependent on the amount of services you buy. For example, a 'dry' space with no services would be $5.00/nite. Electricity costs an extra $5. Water an extra $5. Sewer an extra $5 or something similar.

Roger
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:17 PM   #50
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Originally posted by 85MH325


Good analysis, Dan! Just as airlines provide different levels of service with graduated pricing, perhaps that's not a bad model for campgrounds as well:Roger
Most of the private campgrounds that I use for overnights do have rates based on the level of services you wish to use. One of the problems that I have heard from campground owners is the folks who say they want one level of service but in fact take others that they didn't pay for.

So unless you are willing to either lock down those services or build areas that are devoid of services, theft of services builds into the owners basic rate. Much like shoplifting.

Speaking of building into the basic rates. How about the folks who run their air conditioners while the doors and windows of their units are open? That's one that adds into the owners bottom line. I see that far too often.

Jack
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:49 PM   #51
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Most of the private campgrounds that I use for overnights do have rates based on the level of services you wish to use. One of the problems that I have heard from campground owners is the folks who say they want one level of service but in fact take others that they didn't pay for.

So unless you are willing to either lock down those services or build areas that are devoid of services, theft of services builds into the owners basic rate. Much like shoplifting.

Speaking of building into the basic rates. How about the folks who run their air conditioners while the doors and windows of their units are open? That's one that adds into the owners bottom line. I see that far too often.

Jack
Jack, there is much more stupidity and thievery in this world than any of us would like. AND, unfortunately, much of it is done by folks that we'd never suspect, like the campers parked next to you in the campground who are stealing services you paid for, or have their windows open as their A/C runs. It is truly a shame.

Part of the blame though, belongs to those of us who live in the "honest part" of society. I can't tell you how often I hear "I don't want to get involved", or "They won't know who turned them in will they?" in my line of work. It's VERY frustrating.

YES, damn it, the crooks WILL eventually know who turned them in because YOU have to testify to what you saw. Every person, under our constitution has the RIGHT to face their accusers. It's our system. Until regular folks stop living in fear and decide to stand up for right against wrong and make a difference EVERY DAY regardless of the personal cost, crime and stupidity will continue to grow.

Sorry for my rant, but you hit a nerve with me. <soapbox off>

Roger
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:06 PM   #52
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Unfortunately we don't know what services folks paid for so not much you can do there. I've never heard campground owners complaining about the open door A/C issue. I'm assuming in most cases that the owners just build the electric costs into the rates. I would guess in most cases they tolerate that type of activity rather than lose the business if they confronted the customer. I can tell you that if that was my campground that issue would be on the "rules" printed on the campground map.

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Old 01-15-2004, 08:13 PM   #53
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I am aghast to hear another RV'r having a problem with our utilization of the WM parking lots. This is not parking where ever we damn well please, but often just utilizing a safety net when traveling through strange towns. The WM's are usually just off the freeway, and visible from afar like a welcoming beacon for the weary often plain lost traveller who just doesn't wish to search out accomodations in the wee hours of the morning to enjoy a few hours of sleep. I agree there is something wrong with people who 'take up residence' so to speak. But I am personally glad for the many WM stores spread everywhere that welcome the weary caravaner, it is the one redeeming and wholesome qualty to observe, and blessedly out of character with the average mega-empire. And I will generally make a point of shopping at the WM I have stayed. I just don't buy any durable goods, they are almost entirely Chinese junk. But for milk, bottled water, and peanut butter snacks, WM can't be beat.

So, lighten up man,

Darin
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:48 AM   #54
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I gotta say, I think its nuts, too. Wally-World is only offering what ought to be available anywhere, but isn't, because of a few bad apples that ruined it for the rest of us by taking advantage of a priviledge. We should be able to pull over to the side of any road, or any highway rest stop and sleep the night. but we can't. What is the point of being "self contained" if the only place you can stop is at a certified campground? Funny how you can do this in any legally registered automobile...(that is, pull over, recline the seat, and sleep the night away), and no one will bother you. But attach a camper to the back of your tow vehicle, and you're persona-non-grata.

As much as I may disapprove of some of Walmart's business practices, this is not one of them. they aren't under-cutting anyone with this practice, because they're not really offering anything much; they're not taking anything away from anyone else, except in the most abstract sense, at best. If I am in need of a campground's facilities, I am more than happy to seek them out, and pay for their use.

Perhaps this is more of an issue in the northeast, where campground rent is much higher than the rest of the country. Around here, even the state parks (no facilities..parking space only) charge 20 bucks per night. The last time I used a CG's facilities while enroute, it was 10 bucks, just to use the dump station. Next time, I'm brining it home and digging a hole
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:55 AM   #55
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We should be able to pull over to the side of any road, or any highway rest stop and sleep the night. but we can't.
Out here in California .. I see RVs (and cars) parked overnight in rest stops all the time.

As long as you look like you are not setting up residency ... the Highway Patrol will leave you alone.

I guess they figure a tired driver is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:22 AM   #56
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REST STOPS

Overnighting in rest stops is quite legal in Texas and I have done it a number of times. Where there are separate areas, for cars and trucks, motorhomes and trailers must park with the 18-wheelers which does usually mean some noise and diesel fumes. In one instance, I had my propane detector go off in the night from the fumes from the adjoining trucks.

At many truck stops, I have been able to locate a parking spot away from the idling trucks. I can usually find a place for my trailer in a place that would not acccommodate a big truck. With a modest size trailer, I can often park in two end-to-end car spots behind an all-night restaurant.

After a hard day's drive, though, I don't have much trouble sleeping, even with the lights and loudspeaker at Flying Js.
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