Explore America's Campgrounds
A recreational vehicle (RV) park can be a profitable operation in the hospitality industry. An RV park offers a variety of services to people traveling in campers. Building an RV park requires planning and a substantial investment in effort and money. The return on investment comes over time as campers rent space by the day, or sometimes for longer periods, in the RV park. Planning and building an RV park requires skills as a business manager and possibly repair skills.
Visit other RV parks and make note of the facilities that work well and seem to attract visitors. If possible, talk to other RV park operators about their operations and the trends in the RV park industry.
Select a location for the RV park. According to the rversonline.org, RV parks are divided into two categories. “Transit” RV parks serve travelers taking a break in their campers for the night while on the way to another location. This type of RV park is usually located along a major highway. “Destination” RV parks are located near scenic destinations or other attractions and serve as a destination.
Lay out the design of the RV park. The minimum spacing between campsites should be 25 feet, with larger spaces preferred. Pull-through campsites, which are parking areas with road access from both the front and back, add ease of parking to the campsite. The RV park should include some 75-foot parking spaces for extra-large campers. All campsites should be as level as possible.
Install water, electricity and sewer service to the campsites. While many RV parks have some primitive campsites without any of these amenities, the bulk of the campsites will need at least to provide electricity, with most also having water and sewer hookups. Other optional offerings include cable TV and Internet access. The more you offer, the more campers you will attract and the more profitable the business will be.
Build common-use facilities such as laundry facilities, a general store, game room, playground equipment and other attractions. If the location includes lake access, a dock and beach may be developed. Some campgrounds also include a stage and dance floor for musical entertainment.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.