Friday, February 3, 2023


Reader charged extra money at campground for his kids. Could this happen to you?

We received this letter from a reader this week and thought we’d share it with you:

Steve wrote, “Have you ever heard of a campground charging you extra for your own kids? Recently we went camping with our local group. We had 50+ campers attend.

“Upon check-in, I was asked the usual, ‘How many adults, kids, and pets?’ We have five girls. This was a prepaid campout through the group. I was told it was an additional $20 for the two extra kids. Campgrounds can dictate your family size? Has this happened to anyone else where they charge you extra because of the size of your family? I’ve heard of charging extra for pets, but your own kids?

“Just wondering if this is the new normal out there.

“Thank you to you and your team for what you do for the RV industry, more specifically, the RV owners.” —Steve Malochleb. Westfield, MA

Thank you for the kind words, Steve!

So, fellow readers, what do you think? Has this happened to you? Please vote in the poll below then leave a comment sharing your own personal experiences with this. Thank you!



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10 months ago

When making reservations I’ve seen they all tell you how many vehicles, tents, RV, pets, adults n children allowed per site. Usually, pets, adults n children are 2 each. Since it is told upfront, I don’t see how they could be surprised at being charged for 2 more. 7 people use more of their resources than 4.

Pierre Woody
1 year ago

I would think that it’s normal to charge extra for electricity, water hook-up or sewage but kids? Really?

1 year ago

I know campgrounds charge extra for visitors because the extra use of their resources of if you have a bunch of people in one RV why not charge extra.

Retired Firefighter Tom
1 year ago

Rates for Happy Acres in Bristol, WI [southeast corner of the state] is kid-friendly with tube rentals, etc. Posted rates are for two adults. Kids are additional fees! Even just one kid! Fortunately our “kids” are grown up. Didn’t realize about the extra charges when I told our son about the fun-items for kids. he lives maybe fifteen miles from the CG.

1 year ago

Nowhere i go charges extra BUT most have maximums for vehicles/tents/animals. No more allowed at any price. Most have no people limit as long as they are in the same shelters (so “sleeps 12” RVs are possible if still absurd).

Richard Davidson
1 year ago

Feel that an average size family of 4-5 people is acceptable in the standard rate. More than that SHOULD be charged extra for all the reasons previously stated and the fact that some people will take advantage if allowed and bring the whole clan. I do realize that this can be a problem for some large families. (I have friends that have 12 children) but hey, you had em, you pay for em.

1 year ago

We charged minimally for each adult more than two or if they wanted to put a tent on the site for the kids. But, whomever was working the office at the time of check-in had discretion. Basically, there were two criteria: what additional burden would the group place on the facilities, and how big was the tent. Why? Because we wanted to be able to fend off complaints that might arise from other campers. There was one standing exception: One couple had been coming every weekend for years – they owned a business and lived only 30 miles away. They were self-contained in their large class-A and didn’t use the common facilities. They sometimes brought Mother so she could get out of the care facility where she lived and she never ventured off the site. Would you have sur-charged them?

Selene Montgomery
1 year ago

The camground I work for in Michigan includes 2 adults and up to 3 children (18 & under) in their basic rate per site. Extra adults or children are an extra cost 0 – $10/adult, $5/child. Infants are free. I understand the reason – each extra person uses the utilities and facilities. just as the original 2 adults and 3 children do which in turn costs the campground owner.

1 year ago

Most of the places I’ve been charge more for more than two people, charge for dogs, and extra vehicles.

1 year ago

In 2006 we worked at a campground in NH that charged for any numbers over 2 with the exception of under 1, even charged for dogs. That was my first time being where it is done. People knew in advance and did not seem to have a problem with it.

I have heard some RV parks especially those that cater to families with children activities but have not stayed in one.

Henry Huizenga
1 year ago

I host in a small park, we charge for more than two people in a camper. There are extra expenses incurred when there are additional people in the camper. More electricity, water usage, sewer usage, and trash. Don’t you think it is fair to charge for the additional people instead of raising the rates. By raising the rates, the average camper with two people pays for the camper with several people.

1 year ago
Reply to  Henry Huizenga

By that logic, why aren’t you handing over the metered water & power bill when campers check out? I’d much rather pay a constant rate than be nickel and dimed for every additional person in my RV. If they fit in my RV, your camping fees should already account for this ‘extra’ usage. Yes, couples should be paying the same rate as a family. Your campsite rents out RV spots, and rates should reflect that. If I have 1 or 10 people in my RV is totally beside the point.

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

You’re the guy with the 10 screaming grandkids in your rig, right? 😉

Benny H Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The point is you can take whoever you want with you. You have no right to force me to pay for bathing, water, electricity, and disposal of that water along with those digested cheeseburgers. The campground owner has a right to make a profit for risking cash/and often credit
So who pays for those 6 extra guests. You brought them I didnt.

Bob p
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

You’re not getting the point, the more people the more utilities are used whether inside your RV or using the park washrooms. My wife and I should not have to pay for your indiscretion.

Mike Albert
1 year ago

Every park/CG we have stayed charges for extra people. Their pricing includes two adults and normally there is an extra person charge. They also charge for pets (some state no pets) and some allow children under a certain age (5) to stay without an additional fee.
Thought that was standard if not boondocking.

1 year ago

I’m not sure I completely disagree with the practice. More people translates to more wear and tear on the facilities. I think the practice of charging a “per person” fee is based in the hotel/motel industry but I don’t have any real basis for believing that. My Mom and Dad took us places that sometimes had these fees but it didn’t stop us from staying there.

Sam Crabtree
1 year ago

Almost every campground we’ve been to in 4 years of full-time RVing, and we change campgrounds almost every week, has asked how many adults and how many kids and how many pets. I stopped asking “why” after the first few times because the answer was always the same. The rate was based upon two adults, or two adults and X number of kids and pets. In our case I now just say “two adults, no kids, no pets”. And on the very few times that we do have our daughter and her husband and two kids stay with us it has been when we were at a “resort” for a month or more, and the family came for a visit for only a few days. We did tell the management – mainly so that the family could get a parking pass so as not to have their car towed. There was no charge, except once for the parking pass for their car. We only have one truck and trailer, but would have been charged extra if we had another car/truck.

1 year ago

The extra kids also cost the parks more money as well. More water for toilets, waste removal, electricity, etc. Did you notice when you had that next kid your expenses went up as well, same for the park. Nothing in life is free.

1 year ago
Reply to  Crowman

I agree, extra people cost more money, Whether at home or on the road. Hotels/motels charge more. It is unfortunate that some RV’ers don’t realize that traveling in an RV isn’t inexpensive. By the time one adds up all the expenses associated for buying or even the monthly payment Times 12mos, add the cost of maintenance, fuel, insurance, cost of campgrounds, etc.etc. then divide that cost by the number of days/nights traveled for that year. The actual cost just might be a surprise. A big surprise.

1 year ago

My son’s family is a family of 7. When at a number of campgrounds they were charged for each kid and an extra vehicle. This charges can add up to a lot of extra money per day.

1 year ago

Our campground base rate is for 1 or 2 people. Extra people who are 13 years or older are charged at $5 per person per night as long as they stay in the RV. If they pitch a tent in the site then we charge at the tent rate which is $12 per person per night.
It is not uncommon to have people show up for their reservation with their “kids” following them in another vehicle and their other daughter will be “coming tomorrow” with the grand children.
Those extra people use all the facilities and should pay a share just as everyone else in the campground.

1 year ago
Reply to  Leroy

You are absolutely correct!

1 year ago

I love this! I sometimes pay extra for my dog and she sure doesn’t make as much noise or use the facilities as an extra person would.

1 year ago
Reply to  pammy

Great point!

Roger Marble
1 year ago

I don’t think the campground is “dictating” how many kids you can have. We are almost always asked how many people and if we have pets. The more occupants you have the more of the facilities you are “consuming”.

Martin N
1 year ago

Why shouldn’t you be charged extra for kids! They use the facilities – bathrooms, pools, tennis courts, showers, spas, etc. We have one couple who frequent our resort who bring 10 children. When they come to the pool, early, they stake out one quarter of the entire pool area! And, you think they shouldn’t pay extra? Many resorts charge extra for a certain number of people above a specific number, whether they are children or adults.

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