10 Things RV Parks Need to Do

As full-time RVers, we’ve become seasoned enough to give our assessment of what attracts us to certain RV parks, resorts and campgrounds.  Consider this article as a ‘Letter to RV Park and Resort Developers, Owners and Managers’.

Before you continue, please know that this is our opinion and based on our experiences.  We know that every RV owner, whether full-time, part-time or weekenders, has different needs or expectations. We’re not expecting the Taj Mahal of RV Parks or Resorts however, when we spend our hard earned dollars, we expect hospitality and amenities.

Total bliss!  Large, deep and wide, clean space, own palm tree, beautiful view, quiet yet friendly.  Oh, and low cost is a biggie too!

So, if an RV park or resort builder were to seriously ask us ‘what would make RVers come to stay?’, this is what we (meaning us…Liberty Crew) would tell them:

ACCESSIBILITY

Somewhat close and easy to get to from major highways and thoroughfares.  Parks and Resorts don’t have to be ‘right off the interstate’ but we do appreciate not having to go through 50 miles of over the river and through the woods to get there.

Roads and entrances into your establishment should be wide with very little curbing. We don’t want to rub and bruise our tires.  We prefer wider turn radius and no sharp corners to turn.  Oh and please, no speed bumps!

Please post on your website “RV friendly directions”  to your park or resort noting any low clearances, narrow passages, potential low hanging tree branches or impeding obstructions. Update your website if there are any recent road construction issues or detours.

Great main road leading to a campground in Pennsylvania

SIZE MATTERS – BIG RIG FRIENDLY

Today, 36-38′ foot RVs aren’t really considered the big dogs of RVing anymore.  Newer motorhomes, 5th wheels and travel trailers have lengthened to 45′ and tower upwards past 13 feet tall.  As well, new(er) coaches have opposing deep slides (24″ deep and deeper) and some even have ‘slide in a slide’ making site widths even more of an issue and let’s not forget that some are now being designed with side decks and patios.  Some may be towing a trailer with toys or mobile offices.

We prefer 80′ or longer.  Please don’t state that you’re Big Rig Friendly if you only have three Big Rig sites out of fifty or you’ve fibbed a little on your site lengths.  Be honest in your advertising, reservations and website.  Please know each of your exact site lengths from roadway edge to end of the site without him-hawing just to make a buck from us.

Likewise, save your big rig sites for only big rigs.  Nothing raises the hair on the backs of our necks than seeing a small camper in a big rig site while we try to cram big fifth wheel into a site substantially less.

Additionally, we don’t want to be passing the Grey Poupon, hearing our neighbor’s commodes or listening to their deep dark secret conversations.  We should be able to enjoy sitting out at the picnic table for meals or our chairs without having to trip over the neighbors sewer pipe or smelling it.  Our awnings shouldn’t touch the neighbor’s RV.

Seriously, I’m willing to bet that RVers would be willing to pay $1-2 more for a site knowing they aren’t going to have to turn their tv volumes up to drown out their neighbor’s whatever-noise-that-their-making.

Perfectly long site near Scottsbluff, Nebraska to fit our truck, 5th wheel with still room to spare for maneuverability.
Nothing obstructing our former Cyclone Toyhauler from using our slides. An RVer’s trained eye will notice we are actually parked in backwards. With permission by the park management, this was by design so our back deck/ramp faced Scottsbluff National Monument. ‘Ask and you shall receive’…sometimes.

OBSTACLES & PRUNED TREES

I’ve lost count of how many times we had to navigate around a tree, permanent grill or picnic table, light post or sign post on corners or on our site. Today, RV’s today need longer and wider spaces.

If you want to number your sites, please paint the site numbers on the site pad or make the posts removable; having an in-ground sleeve that the post sets in.

Again, no curbing (read above in ACCESSIBILITY).  We’re not asking to park in a flat parking lot. However, we also don’t wish to navigate our rigs through mazes and obstacle courses . We simply ask that your developer or planner take great consideration of what RV owners need and not just try to cram as many sites in to make an extra buck.

If your park or resort does have obstructions or impedements, minimize them or make them movable.

Perfect!  Nothing impeding our parking, awnnings, etc. Nothing beats having your very own palm tree! Notice the built in grill is set back away from where the RV would be or is parked.

Typical newer RV’s now tower over 13 1/2 feet tall.  No RV owner wants tree branches or low hanging cables or wires scraping their roofs, air vents, awnings or the sides of coaches.

Likewise, consider when it gets windy, be aware that those tree branches and cables swing, sway and bounce which could potentially poke a hole in the rubber roof membrane, scrape the awnings or puncture a slide topper.  Also noting, trees invite critters and creepy crawlies.  We don’t want bugs or birds taking refuge in/on or soiling our coaches.  If and when your grounds-keeping employees prune trees and shrubs, please instruct them to cut all the way to the joint leaving no sharp ends sticking out.  Likewise, please keep an eye on insect infestations.

As you can see, this tree is impeding our wanting to use our awnings. The branches were touching our slide.  We prayed for no wind. We were nervous for our full-body paint, slide and roof.

AMPLE VEHICLE PARKING

We have toad vehicles or trailers we need to detach.  Please don’t charge us extra for parking in a separate lot; especially if you don’t offer long sites to accomodate big rigs or towables.

ARE YOUR SITES LEVEL

Nothing is more frustrating than being told on the phone or website that your sites are level only to park and find our tow canted so much that it’s dangerous to disconnect or unhitch.  We shouldn’t need to stock a lumber store full of leveling blocks.

FREE WIFI

This is probably the most frustrating. WiFi is extremely important as is electricity and water.  For some, it’s our life-blood for communicating with family and friends.  There are full-timers work on the road and young families who homeschool.  Advertising Free Wifi yet not having simple access to check our email only breeds bad reviews which will impede profitable business for your park or resort. Please, spend the money to get a viable system that accommodates and supports the entire park and users. Monitor streaming abusers by shutting them down for 24 hours (this also goes under ‘rule enforcement’).

AMENITIES

A big complaint amongst RV owners is dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs.  Nothing is worse than going out in our own site to sit or enjoy an outdoor meal only to step, see or smell dog crap.  Please provide doggie park(s) for pups to play and relieve themselves. We ask that it be routinely cleaned and disinfected.  Additionally, invest in dog waste recepticles with bags so dog owners can’t use the excuse, ‘well, I forgot my bag’.

Also, having only two washers and driers for 50 RV sites isn’t accommodating. Please have ample laundry machines and if your park is large, please have a few different buildings throughout your park so we don’t have to lug our laundry far. Oh, and before I forget, consider providing a separate washer/dryer for pet bed use only.  Quite frankly, it sucks having our clothes come out of the washer loaded with pet hair and doggie smell.

Bath houses should be clean and safe with individual locking shower and restroom stall doors.  Oh yes, and please put benches or chairs, a shelf and plenty of hooks in each shower area so we don’t have to put our stuff on the floor.

If your park or resort is in a heavy storm or tornado area, it is imperative that there be a safe evacuation building ample enough to facilitate everyone.

130 sites at this resort with two laundry rooms identical to this. Is it enough?  Do the math.

Your park’s workout gym should be accessible for all hours of the day/night.  We all have different schedules.

We couldn’t use this gym between the hours of 5:00pm-9:00am. Seriously, who does that?

ADULT AREAS

Some may disagree with me on this one but please designate ADULTS ONLY areas.  We love kids but there’s also a time and place.  A lot of us work, exercise, go on long hikes or just had a long stressful day.  We really enjoy using the jacuzzi but seriously, not when children are splashing or interjecting into our conversations.  We need down time to de-stress, want a therapeutic soak or simple adult time to talk and enjoy the quiet. Speaking honestly here, children aren’t the most cleanliest in such settings.
In otherwords, save the jacuzzi’s for “adults only”.  Please post the rules and remind parents of children of these off limits areas upon registration.  Don’t just list it in your sheet of rules; tell them.
This jacuzzi was an ‘adult only’ area at a resort in Texas. It was nice and relaxing.  The lighting at night was just right and safe.
Unfortunately, this jacuzzi had no rules posted. We couldn’t use it because even at 10:00 pm as children were swarming it…with no adult supervision.

RULES & ENFORCEMENT

You can have rules but come on, please don’t be overzealous with them.  Make the print readable that don’t require magnifying glasses to read the small print. On the other hand, there’s nothing more frustrating than guests not reading the rules or totally ignoring them.  Upon registration, go over the most important rules or ones that may apply to your guests (ie. if you they list a dog, tell them where the dog park is…if they have children, tell them when quiet times are and to stay out of the jacuzzi).

Please post speed limits and expect guests (AND EMPLOYEES) to adhere to them.  There are walkers, hearing and sight impaired guests, and children.  We ask to not allow golf carts, RZR’s, scooters and 4 wheelers to race up and down the park roadways.  Please don’t ignore rule infringement.  If you’re going to have rules; enforce them…for ALL.

KNOWLEDGABLE STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

The reputation of your establishment is set upon the first 20 seconds of staff-guest interaction. Your first impressions are lasting; whether it’s on the phone, social media, website or in person. Please be approachable, available, accommodating and friendly to your guests. Your first reaction to a question, comment or frustration could make your or break your establishment.

Realize that social media is a powerful tool amongst your patrons. We share our experiences globally; albiet social media, phone apps, blogs and websites like CampendiumRV Parky and RV Park Reviews.

If we are in front of you at the desk, please finish with us before reaching to answer the phone. Honor the hospitality code of ethics.  Show us that you appreciate your guests. Remember, WE CHOSE YOUR PARK or RESORT…money walks and talks.

PERFECT!! Great spacing, ample patio area with quiet view. Sites are designed for both motorhomes AND towables.

BE TRUTHFUL on all venues (i.e. website, phone, etc.).  It’s been said, “a picture says a thousand words”.  That said, pictures could also be very deceptive.  When posting photos on your website, please show what the sites look like with appropriate sized coaches actually in them with slides and awnings out.  Show photos of your facilities and ammenities on a busy day or season.  Show us the views we will see on the busiest days.

Again, we do not want to stay in parking lots.  We do enjoy nice landscaping, green grass, pretty gardens, clean sites and grounds, and something nice to look at instead of a bunch of parked vehicles. We can do that at Walmart for free.
Lastly, we appreciate your RV park or resort offering BOGO deals, honor rewards programs like Passport America, Escapees, etc., restaurant discount coupons, free Taco Tuesday or Ice Cream Sundays, a free round of golf, etc.  Military, Veterans and first responders discounts is nice too.
In closing, RV park and resorts are lucrative business opportunities now as RVing has grown. RVers are younger in age which means they will be patrons longer. Think about that.
As in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’, Ray Kinsella heard voices ‘build it and they will come’.

 

4 Replies to “10 Things RV Parks Need to Do”

  1. I am going to have to agree with everything you said here. We have a Heartland Road Warrior, and we've not ever been able to use our patio. We have also had problems with not being able to open our awnings because we are too close to the slides next to us, or there is a rouge tree planted next to the space where we need to open up. Many of the things that make a good RV Resort or Park are some of the things you mentioned. I am glad to see that other RVers have similar issues. I wish that all RV parks could read this blog! Keep on truckin'!

    1. Thank you Mike, for visiting and keeping up with our blog reading. We appreciate you as a follower! Thank you for enjoying that blog piece. As you know, it’s so true and the frustrations as Big Rig RVers are plenty in some of the RV parks and Campgrounds. In writing this blog, we hope we are heard/seen/understood. Big word….HOPE. Please travel safe out there! -Dan & Lisa

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