Saturday, December 9, 2023


Ex-RV park owner’s story on goes viral; half-million views in one day

A recent story in the popular Sunday newsletter that was written by the former owner of a small campground in Virginia has garnered more than a half-million reader views in a single day.

The story, written by former campground owner Andy Zipser, told about the recent sale of his Staunton, Virginia, park to a corporate buyer., now in its 21st year of operation, has long been the go-to source of information for hundreds of thousands of RV enthusiasts. But a single-day audience of more than 500,000 readers was big even by standards, according to publisher Chuck Woodbury.

Zipser wrote about his eight years of experiences as the owner of the Walnut Hills RV Park and gave readers his forecast of what’s ahead for campground owners as well as campers.

The explosion in reader interest happened when the story caught the attention of Google’s Discover feature, a social media news aggregator of sorts that matches online content with a Google user’s interests. Google uses complex algorithms based on a user’s search history to dish up content matching those topic searches.

Walnut Hills RV Park and its scenic lake.

In the case of Zipser’s story, the link to the item on was provided to millions of Google users who had shown an interest in RVing and camping. Currently, Google Discover has more than 800 million total users.

“There is no doubt Andy’s article hit a hot spot of interest,” said Woodbury. “It also isn’t surprising that the story would catch the attention of Google Discover, since the traffic to the website and our newsletters has more than doubled in the past year. Our content is being read by a lot more people, and that sort of readership draws the attention of huge operations such as Google.”

“There is just so much interest right now in camping and RVing,” Woodbury said. “Everyone wants to read more about how much things are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased desire to get outdoors. We’re proud to provide a place for RV enthusiasts to go where they know they can get the real story about what’s going on in the RVing and camping industries.”

Zipser, who over the past several years has written other pieces for detailing his experiences as a campground owner, said it was ironic that his swan song would get the largest readership of all his efforts. “I always wrote with the thought that RVers would be interested in knowing what it’s like on the other side of the coin — it’s not quite as rosy as some might think, just as RVing itself has its down moments,” he said.  “A lot of us got into this business as RVers ourselves, sitting at a campfire with a glass of wine and saying to our wife or husband, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to someday own a place like this….’ But it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I’m glad people have been interested in what I had to say.“

Read Andy Zipser’s story from last Sunday’s RV Travel newsletter HERE.



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Dave (@guest_130984)
2 years ago

Andy. I definitely enjoyed your article. You spawned a LOT of talk about loss of mom and pop campgrounds.

If you could, would you try to share what it costs to buy, build, run, and maintain a mom and pop campground? What does mom and pop need to start?

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