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Old 02-24-2018, 10:15 AM   #1
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Huge sales of Rv's No new campgrounds

Interesting thought-In our recent discussions with folks about RV's (all kinds) the subject came up regarding that with the economy, more disposable income, and people retiring and wanting to see our country, Lots and lots of RV's are being sold. You see them everywhere!!

The problem-no new RV parks, and no new campgrounds are being built. Land is to expensive. People are having difficulty finding places to camp without making reservations months in advance.

Used to be that we people that had an RV could at anytime find a place on the road. You now need At least a year to go to places like Yosemite and So Cal beaches and now even difficulty finding places everywhere without making a reservation. Our feeling is that not having to do that is part of the fun of RVing.
Disappointing but reality
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:25 AM   #2
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Maybe a little overstated. Yes, Yosemite reservations are challenging, but we've stayed in the valley many times over the last 10 years without booking a long time ahead (BTW, they only open reservations 5 months ahead, IIRC).

We've been using the MH each summer/fall since '15 and haven't had to walmart yet.
Fri, Sat reservations are harder to get than Sun-Thurs, but that is understandable. A guy at RvTravel Newsletter is onto this also. And, also, a little overstated.

I don't think the sky is falling, at least, not yet.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:31 AM   #3
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RVs are made and sold, but at the same time many are junked as being too expensive to repair or too damaged. The numbers grow slower than new unit sales would indicate. There are many unimproved campgrounds available in USFS and state campgrounds, just not ones with cable, WiFi, and full hookups. In addition, many folks buy RVs then they sit in the driveway or storage lot more than they are used.

Many popular destinations are short of campgrounds, but land, water, sewage makes investing in building a new campground very expensive. Some franchised campgrounds have so many amenities required by the franchise license they make daily rates prohibitive. Folks just looking for a night or two off the road or just want to be near an attraction that will take them out of the CG for most days, don't need pools, hot tubs, game rooms, etc.

Yes, RV unit sales have gone up and slowly camping spots will also go up, but it will take time and folks willing to invest the time, money, and energy to build up a CG business.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:32 AM   #4
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We are actually considering building an RV campground. Very expensive to buy land in good location. Then the cost of facility's, equipment and advertising. Still thinking.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fcbbob15 View Post
We are actually considering building an RV campground. Very expensive to buy land in good location. Then the cost of facility's, equipment and advertising. Still thinking.
Don't forget hiring good employees, insurance, regulations, and dealing with some folks that think rules and regulations are for others, not them. It's a real challenge!
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:36 AM   #6
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Easily got reservations in Cody and Custer.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:36 AM   #7
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We volunteer about 3-4 months a year... for both non-profits and govt. agencies... US Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife, Sun & Fun you get the picture...

Those agencies and non profits always provide a space for us... as we move from place to place or go and sight see... we almost always dry camp along the way... often stopping in truck stops for the night... when we land where we are going... and we are out to sight see... we will find a quiet City, State, Federal, Corp of Engineers park to stay in...

BTW if you file a long form, a 1040 and volunteer, talk to your tax guy about some great ways to deduct all of those costs..

We have a nice unit... but its more than 10 years old and don't care for being told, your not welcome in our RV park for $60 a night....

We did buy a USED Thousand Trails Membership maybe 20 years ago... and use it extensively on the west coast, and have found 3 of their campgrounds on the path we are taking to FL this spring... and haven't looked yet at the path from FL to our home in WA

When we are in West Yellowstone as an example we have found a Forest Service camp ground with electrical outlets... 6 miles north of West Yellowstone for $18 a night with our National Parks Pass... $12 without electricity... of course we needed to plan ahead... but its much better than the $65 a night in the RV resorts..

Just our thoughts.... we enjoy our life style in retirement
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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From what I we saw with the Adirondacks it's not the increasing number of campers as much as the existence of a reservation system. The first year NY started accepting reservations the popular camping areas filled up for the weekends within a few days of when reservations opened. The next year they filled up faster as more folks became aware. That was quite a while ago when we were still tent camping. I'm thinking 30 years give or take.

We game the system for local places by looking for sites Sunday/Monday-Thursday. Often we get good sites when we want them at out favorites 1-3 hours away. Less of a crowd at the attractions we are interested in, everything open, mow the lawn at home on the weekend. ;-) It let's us hit places a bit farther than we want to do in a day when the weather is good for travel but too cool for the pool. ;-)
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:52 PM   #9
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We are actually considering building an RV campground. Very expensive to buy land in good location. Then the cost of facility's, equipment and advertising. Still thinking.
...

Wife's brother owned a campground in N. Mich 20 years ago and we helped out when we could. Knowing what I know now, I would not consider buying/operating a cg. It is a huge slave post and the profit margin is slim at best. Someone had to be on duty 24/7 during the season and if they did leave with someone else in charge, they were constantly worried of the many things that could go wrong. Finding good host sounds good, but in reality long term good help is hard to find. When they did decide to sell, it took 2 more years to find buyers in a market with limited buyers.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Boom times indeed for the RV industry.
But this is a cyclical industry. When the next economic downturn hits, as it will, the pendulum will swing the other way. Unfortunately, as the pendulum swings it will take out a number of manufacturers, customers, suppliers and ancillary support services with it.
It's the way it has always been and always will be.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:16 PM   #11
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Travel 8 months of the year traveling round trip between Seattle and the Florida Panhandle. We have a 14 year old Itasca Horizon AD and have never been turned down due to the 10 year rule. Except for Seattle and Washington DC we do not call for reservations until 2 hours ahead of the area we plan to stop for the night. Plenty of campgrounds if you are flexible. We tow a car so that we can explore and not camp in the middle of the action.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:18 PM   #12
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So much depends on where you want to stay. We've found that over the last few years, getting a site, especially thru a weekend in the peak summer months is difficult at best in many of the spots we like to return to. Most of them no longer have first come first serve sites, and most of them book up the first day reservations are available for that campground. Prices seem to be going up quite a bit in the popular destinations as well. Couple this with the BLM and forest service closing off areas to boondocking at a fair rate and it can be hard to just wing it which is the way I've camped most of my life. Of course the progressively bigger rigs we've purchased over the years that keep us out of so many nice spots because we don't fit doesn't help either.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:26 PM   #13
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This year the park we are in has been full once. This in a time when it appears that many who would have gone to Texas or Florida have come to this area for the winter.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:28 PM   #14
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I agree with what you are saying and I should have said that we mainly travel in the spring and fall just after most parks are opening and before closing and schools are open. We arrive in Seattle by May 15th and leave Around September 15th.
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