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June 26, 2021
How dynamic pricing will affect what you pay to camp
This is part one of a two-part series on dynamic pricing in the camping industry. Part two will appear in tomorrow’s newsletter.
ow much are you willing to pay to camp? Dynamic pricing is quickly sweeping through the camping industry as more park owners struggle to find the perfect formula to deal with record high occupancy while maximizing profits, and yet still end up with happy (or at least happy enough) campers.
The good ol’ days of one fixed price for a campsite no matter if the park is half empty or nearly full is coming to an end!
If you’ve ever shopped with Amazon.com, ridden in an Uber, or booked an airline ticket, you’ve already experienced the receiving end of the dynamic pricing model. It’s the modern means of compiling everything you know about a potential customer and – using artificial intelligence and complex algorithms – using that data to squeeze the highest possible rate based on your available product inventory.
Dynamic Pricing 101
Dynamic pricing goes by several different names, including demand pricing, surge pricing, and time-based pricing. In its most simple form, it’s an automated price reaction to changes in competition, supply and demand, and other market forces. For the RV consumer, it’s important to understand dynamic pricing, why it’s growing, and why it’s likely here to stay.
In the example of the Uber ride share service, dynamic (surge) pricing is used to quickly raise the cost of a ride when demand surges after a large event or at large airports. The rise in rates lures more Uber drivers, which in turn cuts down the wait time for riders willing to pay the additional cost.
IT GETS MUCH MORE COMPLEX in other industries. When you fly with a commercial airline, it’s likely the passenger next to you paid a vastly different amount for his ticket than what’s showing on your e-ticket stub. That’s because airlines pull in data about the demand for available seats along with all the info they have on an individual’s flying history in order to offer up a rate that the flyer will likely accept. Business flyers, for instance, pay less attention to the cost than vacation flyers and are therefore ripe for paying higher prices.
Shopping behemoth Amazon goes even further. They know your complete shopping history, where you live, your likely income status, usual shopping times, product return history and, well, more than you can ever imagine. All that data gets automatically dumped into an extremely complex algorithm that again serves up a price it thinks you will tolerate.
At its core, dynamic pricing is a blazing-fast automated pricing response to real-time demand. In camping, the more people who want the same campsite, the higher the price.
Camping is behind the curve on Dynamic Pricing
Campgrounds have been using a very basic form of dynamic pricing for decades. Any campground that has differing rates for holidays, shoulder seasons or weekends is, in fact, practicing a rudimentary form of dynamic pricing.
What’s new to the camping industry is the ability to automate the process using extremely complex algorithms that factor in things such as your camping history, you RV’s specs, your age, number of people camping, your pets, and even your ZIP code (to help estimate your likely income). Next comes everything the algorithm knows about the campground’s current site supply as well as the likely future demand for a particular site type at the time of the requested reservation.
The dynamic pricing algorithm is even able to access the campground booking chart, playing a lightning-fast game of Tetris as it adjusts camper reservations and available sites to maximize occupancy as well as potential revenue. This all happens in the nanosecond after you request your reservation, and the price you see quoted is the end result.
Campspot is one of the leaders in providing dynamic pricing reservation tools and operating systems to campgrounds. In its online marketing materials, Campspot says that dynamic pricing simply “ensures that you (the campground owner) are getting the most value out of each and every site you offer.”
THE CAMPSPOT STORY is a good example of the explosive growth in campground interest in dynamic pricing. The parent company (then known as Northgate) didn’t create Campspot until 2016. It’s grown to now include a network of 1,300 campgrounds. The company has 80 employees in three offices in the U.S. and serves campground owners in 49 states and all Canadian provinces.
Matthew McConaughey joins us on the RVtravel.com podcast
Our RVtravel.com podcast host Scott Linden talks with Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey in this week’s episode of the RVtravel.com podcast. McConaughey is not only passionate about his acting and producing, but he’s an avid RV enthusiast, having lived in his Airstream trailer for 4 years while visiting every state you can reach by land except South Dakota. In this conversation, People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” explains “what gets his juices going” about RVing. Listen to the program here.
McConaughey, wearing only a bath towel, surprises KOA owner
Matthew McConaughey is a frequent visitor to RV parks. Read what happened when one KOA owner opened the door to the men’s restroom for an early morning tidy-up, and ran smack dab into McConaughey in dripping hair, clad only in a bath towel. She just stared dumbfounded at People Magazine’s 2005 Sexiest Man Alive as he flashed her that famous crooked smile and Texas drawled “Good morning!” as he scooted by her to his trailer. Read more.
TOOTIN’ OUR HORN: We have now posted more than 11,000 articles on this website. In the last 30 days, visitors read just shy of 3 million pages (twice as many as last year at this time). According to Google Analytics, at one peak moment on a recent Sunday morning, more than 6,600 readers were on RVtravel.com at the same time! Our servers performed flawlessly. (Thank you, Kim Christiansen, our IT guru!)
• Part two of “How dynamic pricing will affect what you pay to camp”
• RV manufacturers set another shipment record in May, yet buyers may still face a long wait
• Winnebago joins Thor in reporting huge RV order backlog
• Camping World going on its own, ditches Lordstown electric truck deal
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• These are the home remedies we swear by for bug bite itching
• Shade or sun parking? Here are the pros and cons
• Water dripping outside and inside my RV on dry day. Why?
• If you are a solo RVer, please do this
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the RV Women’s Alliance Drab to Fab trailer project. He writes, “For the past eight months, women from across the RV industry have taken an RV from drab to fab using some of the best RV accessories and RV products on the market today.” See what the ladies have done to this now-unique RV.
Last week’s reviews:
• Oliver Legacy Elite Travel Trailers for boondocking
• 2021 Jayco Seismic 4113 Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler
• 2021 Grand Design Imagine 2670MK Travel Trailer
• Thor Palazzo 37.5 Class A Diesel Pusher
• East To West Entrada 2200s Class C Motorhome reveal
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
“If the RV industry was driven by pride instead of corporate greed…”
By Clint Norrell
Thinking it was the only safe way to cross the country to visit their grandkids, close friends bought their first RV. After questioning us for months, they finally purchased a brand we warned against from a volume dealer with a shady reputation. The problems started immediately.
Continue reading the story behind this week’s Clintoon.
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Campground Crowding: State park policies holding RVers “hostage”
More people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before. In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week they suggest one way to get the best site is to “… make yourself memorable. Be the camper the host wants back.” To ensure a place to stay, others recommend joining Boondockers Welcome, Harvest Hosts, and Escapees. (RVtravel.com recommends them, as well.) And one RVer says no more staying at state parks because they don’t like being held hostage by their policies. What are they referring to? Find out here.
How we launched a pesky rat into space
By Greg Illes
Karin and I have been having rat problems for a few weeks. One of the little pests has taken up residence in our storage shed – poop pellets, pee, and litter everywhere. The shed is about 10 feet away from my RV, so I’m extra concerned. We put out some poison bait, which duly disappeared … but not the rat. Lately, Karin reported hearing some “scuttling” noises, and asked me to help investigate. I heard the noise too, but neither of us could identify the source. Continue reading about this harrowing encounter with a HUGE woodrat and how the problem was solved. Betcha haven’t heard this solution before!
Useful RV applications of Google Earth, Part 4: Dump stations
This is the fourth installment in the series on the many useful RV applications of Google Earth. … In this installment we will look at useful applications of Google Earth to find and “preview” dump stations. While websites and apps will give you an address of a dump station and maybe inform you if rinse water and potable water are also available, Google Earth can provide you with so much more. You’ll probably want to use this, once you learn all about it here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How happy are you with your present RV?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Do you like to celebrate your birthday or is it just another day? See how more than 1,700 other RVers responded.
DID YOU MISS WEDNESDAY’S FULL-TIME RVer NEWSLETTER? Read it here.
What building in the world has the most stories?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Raising the bar: Historic drinking establishments you’ll want to say “Cheers” to
By Chris Epting
You’ve been running all over the city (or the country), visiting museums, landmarks, tourist traps, souvenir stands, zoos, aquariums. After all, you’re on a relaxing road trip vacation, right? Well, for those moments on the road when you’d love to do nothing more than slow down, relax and curl up with someone special over a good strong drink, why not make it something memorable – or even historic? There are some well–oiled taverns, pubs and saloons still left in the U.S. that are steeped in history; the perfect places to begin (or end) a vacation pub crawl. So if you have a little time, this round of places is on me.
Roadside Assistance gave us the wrong tire – on purpose!
By Kate Doherty
On May 27th, my spouse and I were approaching an RV park in Provo, Utah, for the night on our trek north for the summer. After settling into our pull-through site, we began our routine hookup. As I walked around the back of our motorcoach to open the electric bay, I noticed a narrow “v-shaped” gouge in our left rear tire. Almost new, having no more than 3,000-miles wear on the back tires, I called to my spouse: “We’ve got a tire problem.” He walked back, looked at the tire and said, “We’re not driving on that.” He continued our hookup and I called Good Sam Roadside Assistance. Continue reading for an important heads up. Have you ever encountered this situation?
World’s largest Lego trailer is sight to behold!
It’s not a little toy, but a full-sized travel trailer made of Legos – yes, Legos, the same things that children throughout the world use as toys. It’s certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest creation of its kind. Watch it being built in this short, sped-up video. Amazing!
Customize your RV: Start with the lighting
During the past three years, Kate Doherty has queried numerous RVers about what they’d like to change in their home on wheels. Comments like, “I didn’t know you could do that!” or, “I’d like to replace the couch but don’t know what to replace it with…” occur often. … This is a series of minor to major customizing projects showcasing many RVers’ dreams, which may inspire you to update or customize your own rig. This first installment deals with lighting and ceiling upgrades. Continue reading to learn more and get inspired.
Stupid RV Tricks Dept.
Trailer towing technique enters Stupid RV Tricks Hall of Fame
By Normal Frump
Oh, here we go again with massive video evidence of the dramatic decline in human intelligence. Is it the preservatives in our food numbing our brains, or our brains turning to mush after years of staring at computer screens and mobile devices — and slowly but surely transforming that ugly glob of tissue behind and above our eyeballs into the equivalent of a sea slug. … So here we go again (oh, this is hard to watch and not lose faith in humanity) with yet more evidence of modern day man’s (and woman’s) mental decline. You truly will not believe anyone could be this stupid.
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific time today, June 26, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
Last week two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Dana Eulert of Huntley, Illinois, and Jay Miller of Runnells, Iowa.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
Popular articles from last week
• The secret way RV parks will soon charge you more
• Popular RVing YouTubers buying RV park; fans get first dibs on sites
• Research reveals how people choose their campsites
• Reality TV show illustrates stupidity of inexperienced RVers
• RVing – It’s trendy now, a big change. And the new reality stinks!
• Lemonis’ Camping World electric RV project hits a snag
• Take your ice cream cone out of your pocket! It’s illegal!
• RV Tire Safety: Are tire pressure recommendations changing?
• These are the home remedies we swear by for bug bite itching
• Statistics don’t lie. Used truck prices catapult 70 percent in one year!
• Campground and RV Park News, June 19, 2021
• Cybercrime and ransomware attacks increasing. What this means for you and your RV
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 26, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
Where to complain about bad RVs, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-expanding list of resources where you can report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers.
AAA Map of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (U.S. and Canada)
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
Stupid RVer Tricks! Oh, what some of them do! Watch and [maybe] weep!
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs
What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean?
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
LIFE-SAVING ADVICE: This is a tragic story about how a young boy was killed from simply touching the family RV. Learn why this happened and how you can prevent it from happening to you and your loved ones. Click.
ATTENTION NEW RVers!
Are you planning to buy an RV or just getting started? Then you should be reading our Monday-Friday newsletter Beginner’s Guide to RVing. You will learn a lot! Check out yesterday’s edition.
Tip #8: Tap and hold to set your exposure
Here we are, already to Tip #8 in our series of “Getting The Most From Your Smartphone Photos.” This week’s tip is about another new habit you need: An easy step to set the proper exposure before you take your shot. Continue reading for this easy but incredibly useful tip.
2nd edition now available!
Free eBook lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models
How many different makes and models of RVs are there in America? RVtravel.com has the answer. “RVs: Who Makes What” is available free as a public service from RVtravel.com in PDF form. Learn more and/or download a free copy.
Could this self-charging EV be your next toad?
By Mike Sokol
As I dive further into my GoGreenRV study on the future of EV and hybrid-powered RVs, the question of EV toads becomes important. After all, if your towed vehicle (“toad”) had a range of even a 100 miles or so, and never had to be refilled with gasoline, wouldn’t that be great?
But where do you charge your toad? Can you power it from your TV (tow vehicle) trailer connector? Or how about letting the EV toad motor charge its own batteries while you tow it wheels down? And will campgrounds welcome a toad being plugged into an unused outlet on your campsite pedestal without making you pay extra for it? These are all great questions without definitive answers right now. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Never plug your RV into a 30-amp outlet without testing the voltage
Mike Sokol has had a bunch of emails and Facebook group posts this week about residential electricians miswiring a home 30-amp receptacle with 240 volts and frying the RV’s electrical systems. Read one of the emails and Mike’s important response here.
RV Tire Safety
UV protection for RV tires
By Roger Marble
This is a reprint of a post I did in 2014 on UV tire protection. The facts and data have not changed. For some time I have been reading posts and advertisements about tire covers and UV protection. As an engineer I prefer FACTS over sales PR. This investigation has taken more time than I originally wanted as I needed a reasonable way to measure UV and a day with full sun – not something easy to find in NE Ohio [when this was written in April]. Continue reading.
Building an RV Park
We were evacuated! And we’re almost open for business
By Machelle James
I finally can sit at my laptop and write about the CRAZY week we’ve had. This was the first time in my life that my family and I had to be evacuated from our home due to a wildfire. Not only was it my family, but also AJ’s dad and his wife, and AJ’s mom and her husband! They all came to help us work on the Campground for our Grand Opening on July 1st. Well, what a surprise when the Wyrick Fire came within 2 miles of our neighborhood. We are in an area that was alerted to a “READY” status, then we went straight to a “GO” status. Continue reading about their exciting week, and how soon the campground will be opening.
RV Short Stop
John Day Fossil Beds in eastern Oregon
The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument features stunning, multi-colored landscapes. More than 50 million years of animal and plant life is captured in sedimentary rocks. All outdoor recreational opportunities are open daily from sunrise to sunset for free. The monument includes 14,000 acres within three separate units in remote eastern Oregon: Painted Hills, Clarno and Sheep Rock. Wow! This is amazing!
RV Fire Safety
How not to test your fire extinguisher
Do not pull the pin and expel the contents to test your powder extinguisher. If you use a portion of the powder extinguisher, have it refilled or replaced immediately. When you have a fire extinguisher refilled, ask to shoot off the charge first (most refill stations have a special place where this can be done safely). This lets you see how far it shoots and how long a charge lasts.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Country Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Squash
by Janice Ross from Citronelle, AL
We were very impressed by this zucchini recipe. It’s a great way to use the extra bits of ingredients you may have in the fridge. Really, this could be served for any meal. It was like a breakfast casserole in a zucchini boat. If you like a little extra kick to your meals, use hot sausage. Looking forward to making this easy recipe again.
This sounds good! Get the recipe here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Chicken Pineapple Kabobs
• Watermelon Lime Frosty/Margarita
• Blackberry-Honey Ribs
• Super Easy Grilled Chicken Teriyaki
• Catfish Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on Me!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Mandi is a Basenji, the barkless dog of Africa. She began her travels in a 2006 Chevy Pleasure-van motorhome when she was 14 weeks old. She is almost 15 years old now and we have logged 127,000 miles together. She is at home in HER van and always knows where it is parked, whether in a National Park campground, RV park, or a parking lot in Old Santa Fe. We have spent countless hours walking together and exploring new places during our travels in the U.S. and Canada. And yes, she is always on a leash. This photo was taken in Santa Rosa, NM – she is waiting for her chauffeur, me, to continue our adventure along Old Route 66.” —Sylvia Jordan, Milwaukee, WI
Vintage Postcard of the Week
Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here.
RV Advice Facebook group. Great place to ask an RV-related question and get a quick answer.
Mark Twain’s real name wasn’t Mark Twain. It was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. When he began writing, he chose the pen name “Mark Twain.” “Mark Twain” is actually a riverboat term measuring two fathoms (12 feet) in depth: mark (measure) twain (two).
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
navy. “The color navy blue made its debut in the Royal Navy in 1857, when for the first time an act of Parliament required English sailors to wear identical uniforms. This outfit included a blue jacket, which inspired the name of the color navy blue, or just navy, shortly after it became standard issue. Today any navy blue or navy clothing takes its name from the color of the first navy blue jacket.
Laugh of the Week
“My collection of vintage kitchen utensils includes one whose intended purpose was always a mystery. It looks like a cross between a metal slotted spoon and a spatula, so I use it as both. When not in use, it is prominently displayed in a decorative ceramic utensil caddy in my kitchen. The mystery of the spoon/spatula was recently solved when I found one in its original packaging at a rummage sale. It’s a pooper-scooper.” —Patty Brozo, Green Valley, Arizona
Leave with a song from the past
Do you remember “streaking” — running bare naked in public places (including a few big-time sporting events)? Well, here’s the song that helped fuel the fad, sung by the one and only Ray Stevens. Enjoy the song — and the laughs!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
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RV Travel staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. News editor: Mike Gast. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, Gail Marsh, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
FOREVER IN OUR MEMORIES — OUR STAFF MEMBER IN HEAVEN, Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, who was taken from us by the coronavirus.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
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Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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