View Poll Results: Would you use a pay by the hour RV parking service with electricity?
Yes, I would use such a service 18 18.37%
I think boondocking is a right and I will never pay to park overnight 7 7.14%
I would try this service if it is not expensive 43 43.88%
Yes, would use this service if less than overnight fee at a local campground 30 30.61%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-17-2015, 04:23 PM   #29
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I would use it in a heart beat rather than pay some CG full freight for 8 hours sleep. The CGs have never gotten it and set up for late arrivals.

That's really the business opportunity IMO. Paying $55 to stay for an overnight at a KOA along the way is silly. If I ran a campground and had empty spaces (especially during the week) I'd much rather get $10/night for someone just stopping through (and maybe their future business when they have time) than $0 for keeping it empty. And at $55 for a "sleep over" I will definitely look for alternatives. But would rather do that at an RV campground than a truck stop more often than not.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:01 AM   #30
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I usually stay at a certain truck stop that also caters to RV's.

They have an RV fueling area, with propane, dump station and water.

They offer 30 day billing on fuel with a discount.

They can be noisy, and if its hot i fire up my generator.

I have to stop for fuel anyway so i try to time fueling and stopping too.

They also have good pizza at a great price if you buy a while one. lol

works for me.
Which truck stop caters to RVs? I have a DP moho so unlike my previous gasser the genset is in the front and not under the bed...so I can run it at night and keep my AC going (which really is all I care about in summer) but I always worry about it bothering everyone outside. I've only overnighted in a Walmart once and I ran the genset but found a not-so-nice note on my door the next morning...ever since then if I have to stay overnight I seek out truck stops...I'm in Cali so I seek out the larger Flying J and Pilot's as they seem to be a little less seedy and they're usually very VERY well lit at night so I feel safer. Being in a 36' DP moho definitely makes a difference...I know I wouldn't feel safe at all in a TT. At least in the moho if I get scared and want to make a quick escape I don't have to unlock any doors to hop into a truck.

I think the idea, if priced right and everything else you've mentioned, is a home run of an idea. I can't stress though how important a really intuitive mobile app will be. Apps are how I make any trip planning on the fly.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:51 AM   #31
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The concept would be this: you pull up to an open site, go to the company's web site on your phone or PC, ID the site, then select how many hours of parking you want. Pay via CC or account with the company (if you have one). Possible add-ons would include a reservation system [a time window for a site].

Hi, not everyone has a smart phone, [we have dumb phones] and if I don't have WIFI, I can't go to their on line site. The next concern is, I don't know how long I will be there so will I be over paying or cheating them? Maybe a coin/card operated power pole would work better.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:07 AM   #32
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Those of us who are Passport America devotees have been doing overnight stops on the cheap for years , and some of those campground have got catering to overnighters down to a fine art.

Seriously, tho, a truck stop area with easy access sites for RV's would be an excellent idea.

I also think that electricity only would be the way to go....if it's just meant to be a very convenient overnight, that is what comfort turns on, and should be enough.

Full hookups would be an RV park at a truck stop.

Just my thoughts.

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Old 06-18-2015, 06:39 AM   #33
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Maggie - can you share more about the Passport America benefit?? Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:57 AM   #34
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Our big issue would be safety- does it feel like a safe place to stay?

We were broken down at one of those Ohio rest areas with RV electricity a week ago, but staying there for the night wasn't an option we wanted to entertain. Plus the sites looked too small for our rig, though we didn't look closely.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:04 AM   #35
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Maggie - can you share more about the Passport America benefit?? Thanks!
Low annual fee, best if you renew for, say, 3 years.....around $100, as I recall.

50% off at participating campgrounds, most of which have limits on how long you can stay, and often don't offer the discount during high season, if they are in a popular tourist area.

I renewed this year, for three more years, and we have been members since 2008 or so.

Sometimes, these are high end campgrounds, sometimes they are not.

But......full hookups or W/E with access to a dump station, generally under $15 a night......often $10-$12 a night. What's not to love, if you're just looking for an overnight stay?

If the campground is not lovely, you hook up, walk the dog, close your blinds and you are home.

If you do a lot of traveling, the low annual fee is well worth it, and recouped after 2-3 nights. Check out their website.

They also now have a great app.


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Old 06-18-2015, 07:11 AM   #36
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I want to speak to fears of rest stops, truck stops, Walmart parking lots, etc.

If you have always lived in the best neighborhoods, away from lower, and lower middle class folks......just know that danger does not really lurk around every corner, nor is every person shabbily dressed a threat.

Broaden your horizons. Smile and say hello. Use common sense. Lock your doors at night. You will be fine.

163,000+ miles.....the last 17,000 by myself.....never been accosted once.


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Old 06-18-2015, 07:30 AM   #37
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Large cities like metro Atlanta have some Walmarts where the parking lots would not be safe, but in other areas they probably are. Ask the manager in any case to make sure you would be welcome. Truck stops can look safe or not. The best model is keep moving if it doesn't look safe or appealing, and if you do stay always be prepared to fully defend yourself where ever you are. We travel fully armed and prefer states where the Georgia Weapons license has reciprocity.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:23 AM   #38
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While some bemoan the cost to camp, you really have to look at the fact that the majority of campground owners are not rolling in profits. My former boss and I seriously considered purchasing a campground around 20 years ago and found that unless you were in a southern destination location, the seasonal folks aren't making big money.

Factoring in the cost of maintaining the grounds & facilities, utility, business insurance, medical insurance, and most likely mortgage payment, the profit margin is pretty thin.

The common theme we encountered in our search was you live like a pauper and retire as a king. The king term is related to the value of the property when you sell.

So going to the topic in hand, if you are a typical off the road campground with standard amenities, you can't make it on $10 a night, especially if you are in a seasonal climate. So holding our breath waiting for campground owners to offer a discount overnight rate just isn't going to happen. They need their current rate structure to stay afloat, and offering a discount rate will come at the expense of canibalizing their bottom line.

What really may have to happen is a revolutionary concept as talked about in this thread. Only if the size and amenities of such a overnight stop can minimize development costs, which in turn can be reflected in lower overnight rates.

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Old 06-18-2015, 08:37 AM   #39
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I have used Flying J truck stops, Wal Mart, and Cracker Barrel for over 10 years. The only issue we ever had was very early on at a Cracker Barrel. I asked the young waitress if it was OK to stay in a CB in Ohio. She said nothing and disappeared. A few minutes later the manager came over and said, I hear you want to stay overnight. I replied no it was early and just wanted to know in general if it was OK as we would travel a few more hours to a CB down the road. He said OK but he suggested we not stay at his CB because the prostitutes use their CBs to call the truckers in and the police raid the lot several times a night.

The Flying J at Carmel Church Va. is often so crowded you have to get there before 10pm to get a spot. In Alaska the abandoned Wal Mart at Wasilla has a wagon master.

I have a friend that joined the Moose Lodge just because they have water and electric for members at each lodge.

Yes the campground owner associations have missed the point.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:45 AM   #40
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So holding our breath waiting for campground owners to offer a discount overnight rate just isn't going to happen. They need their current rate structure to stay afloat, and offering a discount rate will come at the expense of cannibalizing their bottom line.
I quite agree. Corps of Engineers can afford to offer campsites at half the price of commercial campgroundsó and accept the America the Beautiful passes for half-price off of tható because the Federal Government doesn't need to turn a profit. Ditto for State Parks.

The Passport America campgrounds that offer 50% off for one or more nights do so for one reason onlyó a campsite filled at half price loses less money than an empty campsite. Simple fact, campgrounds that already have enough business to turn a profit don't bother offering discounts; they don't need to.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:57 AM   #41
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I suspect you never studied economics or history.

That was the dominate mind set of the Mom and Pop stores across America, open when we want and close when we want, until some guy name Walton kind of changed the landscape. It has happened repeatedly through out history that those who do not adapt and change with demand are soon forgotten.

Assets are owned 24 hours. Those that are not in use are none productive and thus costing you money. Cost is a loss if not offset by income.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:00 AM   #42
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I like the idea and would use the service. I'd prefer the service be offered next to the Fwy.
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