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Old 06-22-2016, 07:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post

But, in the last few years, we've are encountering more and more "Live-ins" or, maybe more identified as "Long termers" in ALL of the campgrounds/RV parks we end up at.
Have you not been following the economy and demographics?

This a huge number of Americans not working. 92 million
What We Know About the 92 Million Americans Who Aren’t in the Labor Force - Real Time Economics - WSJ

The population is getting older and they don't have a large amount of retirement savings.

Housing costs/rents are very high in many places.

Do not expect these trends to reverse. It will get worse.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:21 PM   #16
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According to at least two owners we spoke with just within the last couple of weeks on our trip, they ARE loosing money on the full timers. The reason is, because the folks agree to long term occupancy, they get a reduced rate. For instance, in the Richfield UT KOA, the owner charges his long term folks $425.00 a month. We, as over-nighters, paid $40.00 with any applicable discounts.
They MAY get a reduced rate, at the park owners discretion. It's not a god-given right. If the park owner isn't charging them enough to make money, whose fault is that? Duh!

Quote:
His explanation is "do the math" and you come up with $40.00 x 30 days and you get $700 for the same site that he's presently getting $425.00 for.
$40 x 30 days = $1200, so his "math" must be assuming substantially less than 100% occupancy. Works out to about 60% if the $700 is right. So why isn't he charging $700 for a monthly rate? If his answer is the long term renters refuse to pay that much, so what? Why should he care if he is "losing money" when he rents for less? Is he running a charity for long term RVers?

We are currently paying $860/month in a very nice park that gets $42/night for the same site. I know another park a few miles away we could stay at for $500, but it's nowhere near as nice and close by RR tracks that get a lot of night traffic. I pay the higher rate because the park is worth it. The owner charges the higher rate because he knows he can fill the site almost every night anyway.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:28 PM   #17
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We make reservations when we know where we are going to be. It may not be far in advance, and sometimes isn't until that very day. With cell phones and mobile internet, we have no problems making a reservation while on the road, and calling even a few hours ahead is typically enough to get a site. At the very least, we learn early if we need to make a "Plan B".
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:30 PM   #18
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We don't make reservations either as we never really know where we are going to want to stop, or how long we will drive a particular day, or how long our trip we be. We know a general destination but even that can vary on a trip. We have not really had a problem finding a place, just maybe not the one we would have preferred or Boondocked here and there. We have actually found some really neat places to stay that we would not had booked if we were the type to make reservations.

I do agree that there appears to be an increase in Fulltimers who appear to be living in one location for months on end. To each his own but years ago the real fulltimers moved often, changing locations, exploring the area for a couple of weeks and then moving again. Usually traveling to stay out of the cold or the heat depending on the season. To me buying a MH just to live in, in one location, is a little different than what Fulltiming used to be. Especially with the increase of young families, living with several kids out of MH's. I guess you have to do what you gotta do to get by when you hit hard times, but it seems that some do it by choice wanting to explore the US before they worry about settling down and buying a home to raise their kids in. To me that's putting the cart before the horse, just my opinion so I'll stand by for the bashing.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well,
According to at least two owners we spoke with just within the last couple of weeks on our trip, they ARE loosing money on the full timers. The reason is, because the folks agree to long term occupancy, they get a reduced rate. For instance, in the Richfield UT KOA, the owner charges his long term folks $425.00 a month. We, as over-nighters, paid $40.00 with any applicable discounts.
If they were losing money why are they doing it?

They aren't losing money by having full timers and lower rates they are not having occasional RVers (at higher rates) and spaces going unused.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
We make reservations when we know where we are going to be. It may not be far in advance, and sometimes isn't until that very day. With cell phones and mobile internet, we have no problems making a reservation while on the road, and calling even a few hours ahead is typically enough to get a site. At the very least, we learn early if we need to make a "Plan B".
We're still learning the ropes in this regard. We're not fulltimers (yet) so we're not always on the road. We've come to think in terms of "destinations" (a spot where we plan on spending multiple nights) and "overnights" (a spot where we're simply looking to get off the road and sleep for the night).

When it comes to "destinations" - we virtually always put in the time and energy to research our options and make reservations (sometime well in advance - in order to have the most control we can over where we end up).

We're learning to be a whole lot more flexible when it comes to "overnights". When making time / distance isn't a concern - we try to get off the road early and stay in actual campgrounds. These days - this is usually a "day of" call ahead. On those occasions that we elect to make what passes as a "speed run" for us (like the January post holiday drive from Michigan to Florida ....) - we're happy to cover 450-500 miles per day and overnight at Walmarts along the way.

As much as I like the idea of totally "winging it" ... the fact of the matter is, I'm finding that I'm more relaxed knowing that I've got a spot waiting for me at the end of the day. Knowing that it's there means I don't mind futzing a little more along the way.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:54 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
We make reservations when we know where we are going to be. It may not be far in advance, and sometimes isn't until that very day. With cell phones and mobile internet, we have no problems making a reservation while on the road, and calling even a few hours ahead is typically enough to get a site. At the very least, we learn early if we need to make a "Plan B".

We do the same Gary. We've found that weekdays in most of the country is no problem. Weekends, holidays and tourist areas are tough. We try to be somewhere on Thursday & stay till Monday. If there's a place we consider a "destination" we lock up a site as soon as we can.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:12 PM   #22
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I am finding there are more and more long-term folks that are construction, road, pipeline, etc workers occupying RV park spaces.
Two months ago an RV park where our veterans RV group are planning to stay for a rally, called and asked if we could give up any spaces because they were expecting a large group of construction workers for at least 6 months.

We also used to never make reservations, times have changed, requiring us to change with the times or risk dry camping in a shopping mall parking lot, vacant church parking lot, etc. We also get off the road by 3PM,9 (6 hrs driving) early enough to swim in the pool, relax with a beverage, take a long walk, etc. before bedtime.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:19 PM   #23
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Fire-Up.....KOA's...really? Man, I have not stayed on one for over 15 years. Crowded, expensive, and over 50% of them are not too well maintained. Widen your search pattern.....there are much cheaper and nicer campgrounds out there.
Try Furkot trip planner. Start a route, then click a spot on the map and click on the "sleep" sidebar. Check off what kind type campground you like, then Furkot puts a 20 mile radius around your chosen location showing all campgrounds, or you can choose to show all campgrounds on the entire map. Pick one and go.....it's a great tool. I use it primarily for Motor camping and do the same as you...just show up. Even if they are full, they always have tent/hammock sites for us scooter maggots.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:35 PM   #24
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I have a friend that has an RV park and she says they prefer the permanent/long term rentals because it's a steady income. She has a few sites that are open for short stays but the majority of her spots are filled.

As for reservations, last year was the first time we did not have reservations months before we left on our long trip. It was wonderful! We stayed in state parks, national parks, national forestry, BLM campgrounds for the most part and got into where we wanted when we wanted. The only time we had to wait was getting into Estes Park because there was a festival the Sat we wanted so we waited till Sunday.

This year I have one reservation made and that's all I'm going to do till we get there then we'll figure out where were going next and look for a place then. Hopefully, that strategy will work again this year!
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:43 PM   #25
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" the first words out of the clerks mouth, "Reservations"???"

... More than likely you will also get a better site, since the office staff can look at what's available on the computer and select a specific one, or give you one you ask for. If you just show up, the person may just give you whatever site the computer comes up with. We know this because we have worked in a number of campgrounds over the years.
We tend not to make reservations, unless on holidays or for special locations. Over the years I've found we more often than not will get a better site without a reservation.

Also, after three years on the move, we are currently "long-timers" due to some personal business. The resort we are at offers a limited amount of lots for sale, others for lease, and still others for "transients". This place fills up in the high season, and though we only need a spot for 5 or 6 months, it is about the same cost to lease a site for an entire year than paying the monthly rate for those 6 months. We plan to use the spot as a home base for the subsequent months. During those months we will essentially be taking up two sites when traveling. I apologize in advance.
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:15 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Trust me, campground owners aren't losing money on monthly rates either.

Well,
According to at least two owners we spoke with just within the last couple of weeks on our trip, they ARE loosing money on the full timers. The reason is, because the folks agree to long term occupancy, they get a reduced rate. For instance, in the Richfield UT KOA, the owner charges his long term folks $425.00 a month. We, as over-nighters, paid $40.00 with any applicable discounts.

His explanation is "do the math" and you come up with $40.00 x 30 days and you get $700 for the same site that he's presently getting $425.00 for. And the counter staff is continually turning away folks like us due to full campground occupancy. And he also stated that, that doesn't include the ones trying to make reservations and are also turned away due to full occupancy. He doesn't see those.

He, the owner, also owns a trailer park that's adjacent to the KOA camp and he's planning on remodeling the trailer camp to form new "over night" sites and, keep only a few of the long term spots. He knows and understands the need for mini-long-term spots due to seasonal workers or specialty workers for short time.

As for the ones that suggest: "get reservations", well, I most certainly agree with you IF, YOU KNOW WHERE YOU'LL BE AT A GIVEN TIME. With very few exceptions, we will continue to do what we do and how we do it. If we can't find a place in a park due to too many long termers or, just plain a full camp, we'll either boon dock or, Walmart it for the night.

I certainly don't disagree that reservations are the way to go. It assures you a spot, for whatever length of time you may be there. It may also, as has been suggested, assure you of a better spot, in a given camp. If we had an itinerary, we would definitely do reservations.

Who knows, maybe we'll have to change our ways and be like the rest of the planet and, reserve spots months/years in advance, just to be assured we have a safe place to spend the night or nights.
Scott
If he's truly losing money on the long term rentals, then he's a poor businessman. More likely, he's potentially losing money if he could rent the site to a transient at least 11 times a month compared to the long term rental, but he figures a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:17 AM   #27
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We stayed at an RV park for about a year when we relocated, it took four months to sell the house and another six to build a new one. I'd say 75 percent of the folks there were long term. Half of them were there when we arrived and still there when we left.
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #28
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We do a combination of reservations and winging it (we are full timers). If we are going to a military campground and they have reservations, we make one. Most times we call the campground a day or two before our arrival and ask about availability and if a reservation is required. We always have a destination planned for where we are going to stop for the night.
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