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Old 10-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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The DW & I attended the California RV Show yesterday with two other couples that we camp with on a regular basis. My back was killing me, so it was slow going with a lot of breaks. The air conditioned interiors of the new RV's provided a great place to rest up! There weren't a lot of people at the show, but all of the sales people that I spoke with said the week-long show was a success. We saw tons of RV's with "Sold" signs on them, which was definitely good to see.

As a group, my friends & I don't always agree on everything, but we ALL agreed that the Tiffin Allegro Bus 43QGP was the nicest new DP at the show. Everything from the double sinks in the master bath, to the electric MCD blinds to the full length integrated patio awnings made this coach our group favorite.

A couple of trends we noticed on the new DP's being shown: All three of us love to BBQ and we own DP's with some type of outside kitchenette or attached BBQ. Unless we missed something, we didn't see one new DP with anything similar to that. Also, there is a big trend towards all electric coaches. Most of the high end coaches only offered a measly two burner electric cooking surface stove. When I inquired about this trend, I was told that this is what the consumer wants. Are they blowing smoke in order to save on propane plumbing, or do people really want to limit their themselves to electric for everything? Any thoughts?

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Old 10-23-2011, 10:06 AM   #2
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My thoughts are that most campgrounds will be raising daily prices for all RV's to cover the extra electric use. I think some have already done that.

Or will need to raise price for a 50 AMP hook up.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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As one that dry camps a lot,I don't think a all elec. coach would work well for us.I know you can run gen. and charge up,but I don'camp in these parks to anoy my neighbors in tents or pop ups. I think the reason for 2 bunners is not enough power for any more. A lot of these 40-plus units have 3 ACs, add a large battery charger,all elec.ref,large.microwave,and you are pushing the 50 amps hard.A salesman at the FMCA rally stated that he had never heard of any problem,but the amps don't add up even with out adding another 3000 watts for only 2 burners.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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I agree. We boondock occasionally and I like having the flexibility of propane appliances. We are Thousand Trails members and many of their parks only offer 30 amp service. On a hot day I can run both A/Cís while watching TV, switch my water heater over to propane and use the gas stove without tripping a breaker. Although I would love to have a residential style refer (purely for the storage room and cooling efficiency), itís nice to be able to switch my refer over to propane should the need arise.

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Old 10-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #5
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My thoughts are that most campgrounds will be raising daily prices for all RV's to cover the extra electric use. I think some have already done that.

Or will need to raise price for a 50 AMP hook up.
I doubt I use anything close to $45-$50 a day in electricity...not even here in California. If a CG raises prices based on that criteria they are flat out lying. My guess is the cost of a stay at most camp grounds is 90% profit.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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I doubt I use anything close to $45-$50 a day in electricity...not even here in California. If a CG raises prices based on that criteria they are flat out lying. My guess is the cost of a stay at most camp grounds is 90% profit.
I seriously doubt that CGs are making a lot of profits -- certainly not 90%. You are describing variable costs (electricity use) only. There is a substantial amount of overhead that must be covered whether or not you stay that is fixed. For example, real estate taxes, interest on any loans/lines of credit, maintenance, administration, security, advertising, etc. Whether you stay there or not, those costs remain. You can't expect a CG to price based solely on the extra cost it incurs when you pull in. If airlines priced that way, a ticket would only cost the price of a coke, some peanuts and the small amount of extra fuel burned by having you on the plane. But then they would all lose money and go out of business. The price of electricity is only a portion of the story. Many CGs actually have monthly (or longer) plans where you pay the rental PLUS the actual cost of metered electricity. So that rental excludes electricity but is needed to pay the cost of staying in business.

Also, many CGs are under $20 with 50 amp service because of location or lower costs of running the business. But compare the cost of their 50amp service with using a generator. Most people estimate that a generator will use about 1/2 gal per hour of operation. At $4/gallon, that is $2/hour to run the generator. So if you used the generator 5 hours a day to cook or recharge batteries, that would be $10 worth of fuel.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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I doubt I use anything close to $45-$50 a day in electricity...not even here in California. If a CG raises prices based on that criteria they are flat out lying. My guess is the cost of a stay at most camp grounds is 90% profit.
It would be interesting to have a campground owner chime in here.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dave and Jaime View Post
I seriously doubt that CGs are making a lot of profits -- certainly not 90%. You are describing variable costs (electricity use) only. There is a substantial amount of overhead that must be covered whether or not you stay that is fixed. For example, real estate taxes, interest on any loans/lines of credit, maintenance, administration, security, advertising, etc. Whether you stay there or not, those costs remain. You can't expect a CG to price based solely on the extra cost it incurs when you pull in. If airlines priced that way, a ticket would only cost the price of a coke, some peanuts and the small amount of extra fuel burned by having you on the plane. But then they would all lose money and go out of business. The price of electricity is only a portion of the story. Many CGs actually have monthly (or longer) plans where you pay the rental PLUS the actual cost of metered electricity. So that rental excludes electricity but is needed to pay the cost of staying in business.

Also, many CGs are under $20 with 50 amp service because of location or lower costs of running the business. But compare the cost of their 50amp service with using a generator. Most people estimate that a generator will use about 1/2 gal per hour of operation. At $4/gallon, that is $2/hour to run the generator. So if you used the generator 5 hours a day to cook or recharge batteries, that would be $10 worth of fuel.
90% is probably high, especially for the smaller places, it was sort of an off the cuff number. However I have never stayed at a CG under $40 that wasn't a membership CG, and some of the places I have stayed are very profitable. We were at the Oasis in Las Vegas two weeks ago. I believe there are 700+ spaces there...I was talking to the desk people at check-in and they said there was about 250 units there...@ $50 average per night (I paid more for premium and 2 dogs $64) that's $12.5k per night...over a month that is $375K...that will cover a lot of overhead.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
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90% is probably high, especially for the smaller places, it was sort of an off the cuff number. However I have never stayed at a CG under $40 that wasn't a membership CG, and some of the places I have stayed are very profitable. We were at the Oasis in Las Vegas two weeks ago. I believe there are 700+ spaces there...I was talking to the desk people at check-in and they said there was about 250 units there...@ $50 average per night (I paid more for premium and 2 dogs $64) that's $12.5k per night...over a month that is $375K...that will cover a lot of overhead.
Here in the midwest, a typical CG would charge $25-30/nite, with 50 amp. As for your example, I suspect that many of the guests are getting some type of discount. But, if you were there on a weekend, don't expect occupancy to be as high on a weekday or when it is 110 degrees in the summer. And I'd bet there were a lot of employees to pay for a CG with 700 spaces. I've never stayed at one that large but I have been at some KOAs about 1/3 that size and observed 10+ employees on site. So the Vegas place could have many more employees. There are a lot of CGs for sale, with few buyers, so my guess is that the business is not all that profitable. Most owners actually live/work onsite. If you could make hundreds of thousands in profit every month, owners would hire some manager for $4,000/month and vacation overseas.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #10
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Here in the midwest, a typical CG would charge $25-30/nite, with 50 amp. As for your example, I suspect that many of the guests are getting some type of discount. But, if you were there on a weekend, don't expect occupancy to be as high on a weekday or when it is 110 degrees in the summer. And I'd bet there were a lot of employees to pay for a CG with 700 spaces. I've never stayed at one that large but I have been at some KOAs about 1/3 that size and observed 10+ employees on site. So the Vegas place could have many more employees. There are a lot of CGs for sale, with few buyers, so my guess is that the business is not all that profitable. Most owners actually live/work onsite. If you could make hundreds of thousands in profit every month, owners would hire some manager for $4,000/month and vacation overseas.
OK, you're right, they probably aren't making any money.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #11
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I got to drive one of the 43 QGP buses at the Pomona show. My first time driving a DP. It was a real pleasure driving the 43 QGP. Nice coach, one complaint is that the remote for the shades did not lower the front ones. That should have been integrated into the remote.

As far as going all electric, I am still debating this one. We plan on moving up to a DP in about 2-3 years(going FT), so I will have time do see how others like it, or don't like it. I sure do like the big residential fridge and plan on going that route regardless. My bounder does not have a BBQ hookup, so I just carry a propane tank with me. It works out well, because BBQ and outside stove can be placed anywhere.
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:46 PM   #12
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I got to drive one of the 43 QGP buses at the Pomona show.
On one hand I'm jealous....on the other hand it would have proven dangerous as I may have just said "I'll take it!"

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Old 10-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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We have electric cook top in the sticks and bricks home, one of the things the wife looks forward to is the gas 3 burner cook top, loves cookin on gas. 2 burner electric wouldn't do for her. I only cook outside when camping so for me it's a non issue.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #14
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We have electric cook top in the sticks and bricks home, one of the things the wife looks forward to is the gas 3 burner cook top, loves cookin on gas. 2 burner electric wouldn't do for her. I only cook outside when camping so for me it's a non issue.
Your wife and I am on the same page.

My stick house has a gas stove top, my MH has a 3 burner gas stove top. I've lived in homes with electric stove tops, but for control and instant heat, I like gas.

I remember an old say, "Now your cooking with gas." Not sure the origin, but it seems a positive statement.
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