Thursday, September 16, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021

How do you feel about RV parks charging more when demand is high, like airlines and hotels do?

It’s already happening, and you can expect it will be happening more often beginning this summer: RV parks are raising the price of a campsite based on demand. Midweek, when plenty of spaces are available, the cost of an overnight stay would be lower. But as the weekend approaches, and sites begin to get booked, the cost would go up. A $35 site for Tuesday night could end up at $60 on Friday night, or even more. Want a site for next July 4th weekend? Expect the highest rates of the year!

In a recent RVtravel.com reader’s poll we asked, “Would you pay $80 for a $40 hookup campsite if it were the only available site for 50 miles?” More than one-third of the 3,425 readers who responded answered yes. That $80 price would likely be a result of “demand pricing.”

RV parks owners won’t even be involved in the process. Sophisticated reservation systems will do all the work, changing prices by the minute. Just as airlines charge more for a last-minute flight, so will RV parks.

The good news about this is that, if you’re willing to pay a premium price, you might snag a campsite you couldn’t otherwise. The bad news is that the cost of camping, overall, will climb, especially in the “high season.”

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Eddie D.
4 months ago

Let the market decide the price.

Michael
4 months ago

After eight years of traveling full time in my motorhome, and seeing park owners taking advantage of the excessive RV travelers, with ridiculous price increases, I have hung up hat. Retired and on a fixed income, I feel RVing has becoming more for the ones with no budget restrictions or those who are still employed and are part timers.

Les Smith
4 months ago

We have been on the road for 13 days this season and have not payed any campground fees. Boondocking. Every night boondocking makes camping fees cheaper as we go along. We have set up our RV to work well off grid. We are happy campers.

Deborah Mason
4 months ago

We’re planning a trip (Bucket List trip to Grand Canyon for my SiL, who’s been trying for years) and we’re not shopping around for prices, just for availability & allowing dogs. We’re paying more than we’d like to at every place we’re staying. If prices are too fluid, how can you plan a budget that will last through the trip. Especially if they start raising prices after you’ve paid for your reservation & ask for more money when you arrive? (I’ve seen rumors that is coming.)

Bill
4 months ago

Haven’t they been doing this all along? You pay more for holidays, or if something big is going on in an area. Makes good business sense to me.

Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Sound like a man with plenty of money to spend. Not all of us are in that situation. When retired and on a fixed income.

Suellen
4 months ago

This is a good reason to belong to a travel clubs like Thousand Trails or Resort Parks’s International and Harvest Host.

Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  Suellen

Expensive to join and limited in many areas. Not always practical if wanting to travel throughout the U.S.

Neal Davis
4 months ago

As you note before the survey, prices rising as the number of available spaces declines could dissuade enough other people that we are able to get an open site. Alternately, it certainly raises the cost of RVing. However, we found a pretty large difference in seasonal rates when we went to Alaska in 2019. One campground we stayed at was around $75, $80/night, but we later met folks who paid nearer $100/night at the same campground. They were there only a couple of weeks after us, but it was considered high season and had a much higher nightly rate.

Engineer
4 months ago

Nothing new here….just remember those campgrounds that told you to pound sand or refused to refund deposits during COVID……KOAs are the hero’s!!

LBECK
4 months ago

Colorado has the worst price gouging…. Campgrounds Force working Men and women out of monthly spots so they can rape tourists!! There are literally ZERO monthly places 100 miles around Denver…. KOA in Blackhawk Co goes up to 2500 to 3000 a month🤯🤯

Engineer
4 months ago
Reply to  LBECK

This KOA is one out of 450+ that took care of RVers during the pandemic….

Deborah Mason
4 months ago
Reply to  LBECK

We saw that in housing in another area of Colorado – monthly rental of cabins until May, then nightly rentals. Seasonal workers (needed for the seasonal businesses) couldn’t afford to work there because of it. It’s all about the quickest dollars, rather than the long term stability.

Brad
4 months ago

If you want to live in a country with a FREE MARKET ECONOMY you have to allow the law of supply and demand to work.  When demand is higher (and/or supply is restricted), prices go up until such point at which consumer’s stop buying AND/OR entrepreneurs come into the market risking their own capital to offer alternatives at lower prices (at which point prices go down). Has absolutely nothing to do with price gouging.  It’s how a free market works. It really is that simple.  

Eddie D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Brad

Ditto.

James LaGasse
4 months ago

I live in Florida where seasonal rates apply to all accommodations, I just don’t like showing up and having surprise charges like fees for amenities.

Einar Hansen
4 months ago

I know that campground owners are trying to makeup for some lost time from the beginning of last season due to the pandemic. But trying to do it this way is not the better answer and you will never see one flat rate per night ever again. And what do we the consumers get out of it? Not better services or amenities that I can see. We are stuck with it!

Adrian Pryke
4 months ago

Here in the U.K., it is normal for prices to go up and down depending on the time of year, the school holiday time pricing is way more expensive compared to term time pricing and bank holidays are just as expensive if not more so.
and that goes for all types of holiday places, not just campgrounds.
Unfortunately for now, it’s something we just have to put up with but if you look around then there are cheaper options to be had most times, which does make thing easier on the wallet.

KellyR
4 months ago

I’v always done what I can afford and not done what I can’t afford. I never made a lot of money but still traveled when gas was $4.00 a gal. No smart phone expenses, no cable TV expenses. I save for what I really want to do. I would have little problem with gas prices back up there as that is fewer people on the road to bother me. “Stupid RV park prices” will probably have a space for me if I just drop in at the last minute and most likely still less than motel costs. Food, gas and lodging are still a good deal in the good ol’ USA compared to a lot of other countries.

Uncle Swags
4 months ago

Its called price gouging by some and economics by others depending on whether you have a moral compass and what your views on fair value are based on. I have no problem with a campground owner making a fair profit and running a business can be amazingly complicated but with proper planning one can make reasonable revenue and cost predictions and ultimately a profit and return on their investment. Greed is a tough thing to control though.

Monty
4 months ago
Reply to  Uncle Swags

It’s called supply and demand.

Joe
4 months ago

It seems I can always find a campground with somewhat reasonable rates. However it may not be the nicest one in the area. My guess is a lot of keys will be hung up due to the cost of fuel.

PegSue
4 months ago

As new RV owners/retirees, we want to travel & see & do many things time did not allow when we were working. With increasing campsite prices, along with skyrocketing gasoline prices, our dreams may have to be adjusted. As a PA resident, our gas taxes are the 2nd highest in the country, with CA the only state higher than PA. It costs a fortune to fill our gas tank in PA. Businesses need to make up for income lost during COVID-19; hopefully campground owners will be reasonable & not take advantage of consumers. The govt is not making it easy for the retirees to enjoy the “golden” years, especially with proposed new taxes. And traveling with pets makes hotels unaffordable. I hope RV parks don’t start charging $25+ for dogs like hotels or our new RV will be parked. But until then, we will enjoy!

Gigi R
4 months ago

I guess everyone wants to make more $ when they can, but I also think during special events their costs also go up. They need more staff to handle all the extra cleaning and things that come with it. So I have mixed feelings .

rvgrandma
4 months ago

Many do. When special events happen they raise their prices. I worked in one that each spring for the ‘wine festival’ when they opened new wine and the Balloon festival in the fall they would almost double their price. We still sold out so many I guess don’t mind. I do though – I would find somewhere else to park.

Quartzsite and many places where ‘snowbirds’ frequent raise prices in the winter and lower them in spring through fall.

Last edited 4 months ago by rvgrandma
Jim Psaras
4 months ago

Supply and demand are part of free market economics. Hopefully they’ll reinvest the extra money in updating their parks.

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