Jump to content

What is important for you if choosing a campground?


camper1

Recommended Posts

Hi everybody,

 

great forum, I hope you can help me.

 

My name is Peter, I am from Austria and we want to move to Canada an buy a campground in Nova Scotia. At this time I do some research.

 

I am an experienced camper here in Europe, travelled through 50 countries (including Canada) but we are not Canadians or Americans. So I try to find out what is important for Canadians or Americans if they would travel to Nova Scotia and choose a campground.

 

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean?

 

How important is full hook up?

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground?

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.?

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request?

 

Any help is welcome...

 

Thank you very much!

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everybody,

 

great forum, I hope you can help me.

 

My name is Peter, I am from Austria and we want to move to Canada an buy a campground in Nova Scotia. At this time I do some research.

 

I am an experienced camper here in Europe, travelled through 50 countries (including Canada) but we are not Canadians or Americans. So I try to find out what is important for Canadians or Americans if they would travel to Nova Scotia and choose a campground.

 

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean? For us, not really important, the park is where we lay our head at night after a day of exploring.-

 

How important is full hook up? VERY, with 50 amps recommended

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground? Would make the difference in choosing to stay

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? Not at all - we use the park for sleeping, not entertainment.

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request? Room to get in the site, UTILITIES AT THE CENTER OF THE SITE. This is a big problem with older parks set up for trailers/5th wheels not motorhomes pulling a car.

 

Any help is welcome...

 

Thank you very much!

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean? Not really important at all, being near a lake or a river often is a bad thing as you get a lot of boat noise and rowdy folks on weekends.

 

How important is full hook up? Full hookups are not really important unless you are staying longer than your tanks will support. Even then you'll often find that you can borrow a dump tank or that a quick hook/dump/park trip is not really much of a problem. Same for water/electric, if you don't expect to run out of water it isn't an issue and you can often find a source of water within reach or just fill as you go to dump. Electric is a bit more important unless you have solar or want to pick a site where generators are allowed (yuck) and put up with the smell and noise. Still for three or four days with a bit of conservation you can live off your RV battery.

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground? For many folks it is of little interest, they either don't use the internet or have a far better connection through their phone service. We used to carry a satellite internet dish system because we tended to be out of phone range a lot. If you need the internet you can try park wifi but there is a good chance you won't be very happy with it.

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? We rarely participate in that type of thing, we prefer to get with friends for gaming in our RV or on the patio in nice weather. If we are at an Escapee chapter rally or a national rally we do get more involved in the organized stuff but the rallies are usually pretty short and we are back to our usual plans.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter,

 

The majority of folks that stop into NS RV parks are from the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec. I have not seen many US plates for awhile but with our low dollar, i suspect more will venture into this neck of the woods. Check out the facebook page "RVing in Canada" .. it is a very active page...I would post the question there...

 

50 amp hook up...never known anyone to need one even though I do see it at most camp grounds.. not sure why you would need it unless you have multiple a/cs and for our climate..it isn't necessary.

 

As for the other, it depends..what type of RV'er do you want to attract..?? and the other is what ratio of seasonal / no seasonal camper do you want ?

 

What part of NS are you targeting ?

 

good luck...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!

 

I think the answers to your questions may depend on the location of your campground and the demographics of the population you are planning to serve.

 

If the campground is near other attractions, than a lake/river/ocean may not be important. If the campground is more remote and will be the destination, then some attraction, activities, etc., will be much more important. Activities may be more important to families with children than to some adults.

 

Full hookups will be more important to vacation and destination campers that plan to spend a week or more than it will to overnight quests.

 

Wifi that provides a good connection and adequate speed for today's users is relatively rare at campgrounds and may be expensive or difficult to achieve depending on the location of the campground and the services available in the area. If the campground will have seasonal and long term users, setting the sites up so that they can get a cable or DSL internet connection may be an option. Again, interest in internet connectivity will vary depending on the demographics of the customers. Older customers are likely split between those that are high volume users (netflix, etc.) and those that use the internet very little (email and web browsing). Younger folks and families may have multiple users and multiple devices per user and consume large amounts of data.

 

For us personally, we do enjoy campgrounds with a lake/river/ocean. However, if we are going to an area with specific attraction like a National Park, then the campground facilities are really not important and it is just a place to stay. If we are staying more than 5 days, we prefer full hookups. If I have to break camp to dump, we are moving on to the next location. We are not what I would consider heavy internet users, but even so, not exceeding our 15G monthly plan can be a little challenging without some use of free Wifi. We do not participate in campground activities very often and have never chosen a campground based on the activities offered.

 

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!! Good Luck in your endeavor to own and operate a campground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter FWIW, as with absolutely any business, you need to decide "who" your target market is first and foremost, and this in turn will be based on where the park you are considering is located. Until this is established it'll be hard to get a beneficial response. There are "Destination locations" those that go to an RV park because of it's proximity to certain attractions close by = theme parks, water sports, museums, POI's etc. There are other RV parks that are on a "pass through" O/N typically route. What demographic and geographic targets are you going for? Locals at weekends/during the summer within 45 minutes drive typically?

 

Some folks go to certain RV parks and resorts based on their location to local fishing/kayaking, or because they are known to be quiet/non-rowdy. Others are interested in "party central" type set ups = thinking San Diego park we stayed at once here where couldn't hear ourselves think and we were the Chronologically challenged when staying. Some snow birders like to go to a destination resort where there are lots of things organized, close to great shopping and restaurants and within an hour or two drive options for some day trips, but the community feel of the RV Park/Resort is the main attraction to them.

 

Seriously there isn't a blanket answer as it will all depend on location and demographics, mainly whether you are a destination location or you are offering the "wildness" back to local city folks escaping at weekends. Different age groups have different needs in selecting their destinations and how where they travel and stay.

 

Good luck, we looked into purchasing an RV park here in Alberta almost 20 years ago, and another time about 12 years ago, running a provincial park, but we just couldn't make the figures work based on the demographics, locations, and price points needing to be considered for short seasons. For example we used to stay in provincial parks a ton in the 90's and very early 2000's but now managed privately (bid out) they just aren't the same either on affordability or enjoyment by how they are run purely for profit = ourselves and many many RVing friends now enjoy boon docking locations with less restrictions far more whether staying locally or on our travels.

 

Be sure to know your target market inside and out before committing to purchasing any kind of a business anywhere in the world, particularly in remote locations that are far from a large economic base. Believe me we are very very seasoned NA campers/rvers as well entrepreneurs/business owners from UK and Canada for over four decades, so I don't say this light heartedly.

 

PS: Was typing before I saw travel trailer and Grassy had replied = sorry if repetitive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me second the idea of defining your target market. We are a retired couple, have a motorhome and live in the US. Not having full hookups is a no go for anywhere we are going to spend a week or more. Overnight, could care less, but once set up for a week or two , we don't want to have to pull in slides, up jacks, start engine to drive & dump then return to reset up. One way around that is you can have 'honeywagon' service available. Plus we have a washer/dryer onboard, so having full hookups for a longer stay is important to us, not to someone there for just a weekend.

 

WiFi - if you are seeking to attract people from US, this might be more important because getting data coverage in Canada is expensive. We stayed at several parks in Nova Scotia with WiFi and really liked that option. At ones that didn't, they almost always directed us to the local library for an internet connection.

 

50 amps - while not necessary, it sure made things easier for us to be able to run dryer while making a meatloaf in the microwave with small space heater taking the chill off during a summer rain storm. Could we have survived on 30 amps - sure. But if two parks were available at about the same costs in the same area, we'd go for the 50 amps. For people in small travel trailers, not a concern. See - right back to what market are you going to target. When visiting Peggy's Cove we stayed at Wayside Campground, which suited our needs very nicely.

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a park was available at a reasonable rate we would go for 50 amp and full-hookup. We can use 30 amp with no problem as we've learned to do just that. We can get by for a few days with no sewer hookup, but like someone else said, if we have to move to dump, we will be on our way. I also like to take a shower every day, so full hookups make me more comfortable. We are not camping though, we live full-time in our motorhome. As far as wifi , we do have our own plan but struggle sometimes to stay within our monthly allotment. We appreciate and use good free wifi to help keep the usage down. We are moderate users but do not stream movies or tv programs. So, for us, yes internet throughout the campground is a much desired amenity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi again,

 

thank you very much for your comments.

 

First of all I have to note, that there is not a big difference between you and German campers/rv'rs - except the full hook up (this is not very common over here). You have the same expectations and you are also polite and helpful :)

 

Target market: I try to find something in the middle, which means I want to have a number of seasonals (campground is some minutes more than 45 to drive Halifax) but also guests for short visits.

 

And I prefer myself more silence than action and this is what I would change.

 

We will install more full hook ups (during the closing time) and as long as it takes to built, we offer honeywagon service. So no one has to leave their site to dump.

 

There are some 50 Amps but mostly 30 Amps. I think there is something we will change step by step.

 

At this time there is free wifi in the office building, but not on the whole campground - myself, I appreciate if a campground offers this service but I don't choose one only because of this. But like you said, if there is another campground it could makes the difference.

 

And thanks for giving me a new sight of the lake/river/ocean access. I didn't thougth the noise of the boats and rowdy folks - I was in fear that a lake/river/water would be one of the most important things.

 

I would like to give you more information about the campground but I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is usual and okay.

 

How do you search for a campground? Using the internet before you start your trip or using the printed guides (like the "doers and dreamers" in Nova Scotia)?

 

Are you using campground apps on your mobile?

 

I have seen there are campgrounds offering an online reservation system. Would this be helpful?

 

Thank you!

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean? Not really important to us.

 

How important is full hook up? We don't spend a lot of time in RV parks, preferring to boondock. However, when we do stay in an RV park, we'd want full hookups so that we could fill our fresh water tank and drain tanks. Or, if we were staying for a week or more, we would definitely want full hookups.

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground? In the U.S., where we travel, we normally have Verizon service, so Wi-Fi wouldn't be important to us. However, if we were traveling in Canada where Verizon data service would cost us an arm and a leg (assuming it was even available), it would be VERY important to us.

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? Not important at all.

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request? Level sites not crammed together like sardines. Good electricity and water. Quiet.

 

 

 

How do you search for a campground? Using the internet before you start your trip or using the printed guides (like the "doers and dreamers" in Nova Scotia)? My first choice would be a Passport America RV park if we were just passing through. For longer stays, or if there's not a PA RV park in the area, I use RVParkReviews.

 

Are you using campground apps on your mobile? Sometimes. RV Parky and All Stays Camp & RV are ones I use.

 

I have seen there are campgrounds offering an online reservation system. Would this be helpful? Yes, although I usually call if I want to make reservations. One thing you'll want on the website for your RV park are the RATES! I'm often surprised at the number of RV park websites that don't include this very basic -- and important -- piece of information!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For online searching I use RV Park Reviews Also have All Stays Camp & RV loaded on my smart phone for traveling. And also use Passport America to see if a discount park is in the area. Online reservations I use for membership parks (where I'm getting things lined up 60-180 days in advance). For normal use, we call about noon to see if they have room for us. Very seldom use the online service. I agree with Linda, put the rates on your site.

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my 2 cents is- no BS charges.

Like 25 cents to take a shower (Holly Shores, NJ)

$ 1.00 per dog

Ridiculous dog limitations including the words "terrier mix" . So I drive to this CG (Morris Meadows MD) and they in their wisdom upon arrival decide my dog is a "terrier mix". Shot weekend, drive home. Restrictions are fine if they are specific and enforceable

Being 2 minutes (yes, TWO minutes 7:32) over the guest fee exemption and being charged the fee (same CG)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean? We like a place we can put our kayak in the water - but will not exclude a place if that's not available.

 

How important is full hook up? This is critical for us if we're staying more than two nights. We're not set up for boondocking.

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground? I know this is important for others, but we have our own hotspot and data plan, so we don't even consider this when choosing a campground.

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? It's nice - but not a deal-breaker at all.

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request? Interesting sights trails, points of interest, etc., in the area. Camp sites NOT piled one on top of another - don't like to see and hear everything our neighbors are doing. Decent rates and friendly staff.

 

Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...no BS charges.

Like ... $ 1.00 per dog

 

Right! We won't stay at an RV park that charges extra for dogs. And if you DO charge extra, PUT IT ON YOUR WEBSITE! We were surprised by that once when we made reservations at an RV park near Phoenix, AZ, and found out they charged $10 for dogs. Nothing was on their website about extra fees for pets -- nor were we asked whether or not we had pets when I called to make the reservations! We didn't find out about it until we arrived and were ready to pay. To say I was an unhappy camper is putting it mildly...and I wasn't quiet about my displeasure!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi again,

 

thank you for your help.

 

I am wondering how campground operators treat their customers.....we will definitely act in a different way. I am entrepreneur since 1994 and if I would treat my customers that way, I wouldn't have one.

 

No queastion, all fees are stated on the website/flyer/guide. We try to do our very best to treat everyone as a guest and hope they come back or give a positive review. This would be the best and cheapest ad.

 

Regards

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a campground owner. We have owned our park for 33 years. Even with all that experience, it is hard to answer your questions. There is no book that tells you what you should and shouldn't do. My suggestion would be to consider the location of the park and the market that you would like to target. We knew right from the start that we wanted a small/medium park. We wanted a mix of seasonal and vacation campers, and we especially wanted a family park. We have expanded from 80 to 127 sites but that is our max. We like our campers and they seem to like us but to be honest, you can't please everyone. If you are a campground you may not offer what a larger RV Park has. We offer shade and many like that but some folks don't want to be parked under the trees. There are plenty of parks and campers will differ on what they prefer. Just in my area alone there are 6 parks: one RV park, one really large resort type park, my park, 2 older not upgraded parks, and one not so nice park. All of the parks attract campers. We offer activities for the kids and some for adults but prefer not to have bands, dances, and anything too wild. Over the years, we have developed a clientele that appreciate that and gravitate to our park when in the area. If a camper is looking for that, there are other parks that offer these. It's all about your target audience. The important thing is to make it clear what you offer and what you don't, and be totally honest. That makes for happy campers who will return over and over. Sorry for rambling. I hope this helps some.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean?

 

Our favorite spots always include some kind of water and rivers are our favorites because they're easier to fish and have a soothing sound.

 

How important is full hook up?

 

We don't need full hookups. We use solar and can stay out definite with it on sunny or partly sunny days. We rarely stay at full hookup sites because the other sites seem to be toward the rear of the campground which is fine with us.

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground?

 

WiFi has become very important to have from many travelers. Problems arise when they want to stream movies, etc. It's purpose should be just for quick email checks and simple surfing. Many folks seem to have their own way of doing it for them by using their phones with the phone carrier. There are many good plans out there.

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? Not important at all for us. We do a lot of hiking, 4-wheeling, siteseeing and exploring. When we return we have no interest in music groups, etc.

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request?

 

Large sites with planting for privacy. A clubhouse where you could go to play cards or other games and a wekly musicl performance. I just stated above that they weren't for us but perhaps if we were around them more it would be enjoyable but something for all ages to enjoy it.

 

I think one or two nice nightly meal would be welcomed.

 

A nice playyard for dogs would be welcomed.

 

We don't care about a pool but pickleball is becoming very popular, more so than tennis. I think that would be a draw to the park.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The view should be good like clean water lakes or rivers. Full hookups are a must for us.

Wifi is also a huge plus but if there is good Verizon I can hotspot and be very happy. I don't

require entertainment but I do like a few old men, like me, around to chat and have coffee or drinks with.

Most of all if I am staying for a few days or more I require sewer. There is nothing worst then having to move a big fiver

to dump. Good Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that I've not seen mentioned is the weather factor. Most parks that are as far north as you are will have very little business in the winter months and winters will be long there. Plumbing that is cold proof is not inexpensive or trouble free. The length of the season means a lower return on investment and it a large part of the reason that most parks there have fewer facilities and amenities than those far to the south. If you invest large amounts of money into the park it will mean that you must have a higher cost per night for the short season that you will have that keeps your campsites full. If you increase prices too much, then customers will go to parks with less amenities in order to pay less. I think that you need to pay close attention to the response from mrebele as he is giving sound advice. The proper mix of amenities offered and prices charged is a difficult balancing act. Even with our best intentions, we RVers tend to emphasize the amenities that sound good, even though very often few of us are willing to pay for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

thanks for all comments.

 

Of course, there are different campers with different needs and I cannot please everyone. But it was very important for me to hear about the lake/river/ocean topic. I thought this would be more important.

 

For those who pefere full hook up: Would it help if there is a honeywagon service (maybe every other day)?

 

Winter:

 

This is exactly one of the points why we choose an area which has no season in the winter - this will give us the possibility to travel ourself with our RV. We are over 50 years old and not in the situation to start a very busy career. So the seasonal business is perfect for our aims.

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How important is it to have access to a lake/river/ocean? It is nice but I would not pay extra for it.

 

How important is full hook up? I only use electric, like a nice shower house and separate RV dump station with an elevated hose to fill with fresh water.

 

How important is free wifi all around the campground? I have my own WIFI for security.

 

How important is to have entertainment on the campground like dancing, local music groups, gaming etc.? It is nice to have a covered meeting place.

 

If you could ask a campground operator to transform his campground into a "perfect campground" what would you request? There is a shortage of year round campgrounds for those of use that travel in the winter. I found one at Indiana Dunes that even has a heated shower in the winter. It is nice to have folks that want camp fires in an area away from someone who may not tolerate the smoke. Bathroom stall in the shower area. Adequate places to set your shampoo and a place that stays dry you can sit on after your shower to put on your socks. Big enough spot I can leave my back window open without looking into the next RV. Tenters and others prefer a separate area away from generator noise. Safe place away from traffic noise. Area you can look at the stars without a lot of lights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...For those who pefere full hook up: Would it help if there is a honeywagon service (maybe every other day)?...

As has been said many times already, there are many ways to RV and you need to decide the clientele that you will target. We are not campers. Our RV is our mobile efficiency apartment. We bought an RV with all the amenities to use them not to use campground bath houses/rest rooms or take Naval showers. Every two to three days would be a good interval for honey wagon service for us as that is about a full gray tank. We can go about a week on the black tank. As others have said we do not like to break camp just to dump. How you will charge for the honey wagon service should be clearly stated on your website i.e. pay as you go, one free dump a week, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...