By Chuck Woodbury
A recent Facebook post told of an Idaho RV park that charges an extra $1.50 a day for each slide-out on an RV. As you might imagine, the policy outraged some RVers: “I avoid places that nickel and dime people like that.” “Find another campground fast.” “Insane!” “Nope…not getting our business.”
We called the RV park and talked with the owner. I won’t mention the name of the park because after talking with the owner, it’s apparent he’s not trying to gouge.
His reasoning is that larger rigs use more services, such as water and electricity. But he doesn’t want to measure every RV that checks in. So he determines an RVs total slide-outs and then charges extra for each one. The idea is that the more slides, the larger the RV and the more services the RVer will use, and, therefore, the more it will cost him (the park owner) to host his or her stay.
The nightly base price of the park is $31, which is not, of itself, an outrageous fee for a park right along a beautiful river in a popular tourist area. But does charging this way make any sense to you? It doesn’t to me. I mean, really, is it fair that an RVer in a 28-foot travel trailer with three slides pay $4.50 more than RVer with a 40-foot Prevost bus with no slides?
I have a feeling this is a pricing concept that’s headed nowhere.
October 12,2020 – found this on there web site.
Okay! You now have the rate for each night of your stay. Multiply that rate times the number of nights you will be staying with Century 2 Campground & RV Park.
Our rates are based on 2 people. If more than 2 people are staying at your site, add $8.00 per person per night to the total in step 2.
*Slide (Tipout) Charge $2 per slide;
Extra person over age 1 $8/ea;
I’ve seen some park charge a little more for 50amp than they do for 30 amp. That makes more sense.
I’ver seen another that charges a slight fee for each air conditioner you have, whether you use each one or not. This is kind of the same thing, just because it is there doesn’t mean you use it.
So, a 38 foot motorhome with 2 slides on one side would pay more than the same size motorhome with a full wall slide taking up the same square footage?
I say his best bet is to measure. Charge an extra $1.50 for every 5 feet over a certain length. The amount of slides has nothing o do with amount of services they use. For that matter, neither does length.
I agree, this concept doesn’t make sense. We used to have a 2000 35′ class A with one slide, and now have a 2015 36′ Class A with 3 slides. For using the same electric and water for the 2 of us, we would now be charged $4.50 vs $1.50? Weird, and it doesn’t make sense.
Century 2 RV Park, Salmon, ID. Not even a GOOD SAMS Park or any other campground affiliations. Rated an Overall 7, that makes it off my list of parks to consider!
Wo only have two slides, and previously until last year had no slides. That said, Century 2 in Salmon ID will NEVER see one dime of my money.
I don’t know about all states but I know some license, and charge, vehicles by length and weight, ie. size. It seems to me that charging by size would be appropriate for camp grounds as well. That is how I am charged in my state for my tags and other fees – Miata cheapest, Lincoln cost more, and my RV the most.
If it is fare to charge extra for large rigs where is my discount for my 14 foot camper trailer.?
In my neck of the woods, you should not pay more than around $350/month and this should cover water, sewer, trash, and WIFI. Electricity cannot be billed at more than cost although you can factor in certain items. When calculating the costs for you daily customers the costs should never exceed $21/day. Yes, if you do not make a profit you will go out of business and that is not good for either owners or customers.
The name of the campground is Century 2 Campground in Salmon ID.
In the boating world, it has be de rigueur forever to charge by the overall length. This is true even in a fixed length slip. So, while adding to the fee for slides is interesting, I can think of better ways to make the revenue more relative.
If an owner was to bill by RV length, and add slides at a fraction of their length?
There are lots of ways to make this more fair to the small RV owners.
Too many rules, regulations and amenities have driven up the cost of rving and camping. National and state parks charge high day use fees even if you pay for a campsite and then turn around and offer steep discounts to veterans, disabled, seniors, etc. National parks have become Disneylands with an overabundance of paved roads, public facilities, buses and concessions. That does nothing to protect the natural aspect of parks. Pack out what you bring in, be self-responsible.
So for those reasons, I avoid rv parks, state and national parks and when I do want to enjoy them I’m boondocking nearby and avoid all of these silly rules and rv park restrictions and being with people who have no respect for others.
I am a firm believer in free enterprise, and in my freedom to “vote with my feet” (or tires). He is taking his shot at how to make the profit that he feels is right, and RVers’ acceptance or rejection of the fee will tell him if he is right. If you choose to stay, you accept his terms.
This Guy is not a very good business-man. The amount of everything consumed is relational to the number of people that are using the resources, not the size of the rig that doesn’t use any of the resources!
Incorrect..If you have a larger rig, you may have 2 or 3 A/C units. Your furnace is certainly larger. Water consumption is higher for 10 versus 1.
Sewer depends on the number of persons on board and whether or not the tanks had been dumped prior to arrival.
Larger rigs require a larger parking space. Class A Motorhomes require additional space for tow vehicles.
The reason for parking at a campground is all the same whether it is one or 10 persons.
Persons with pets need a dog run (or should have since no one wants to pick up their dogs left behinds).
Kids…Do you have them? Should there be an extra charge for the entertainment venues they require? Who pays for the beach, tennis courts, playgrounds?
The septic system doesn’t care how many persons are on board. There is still routine maintenance required.
Water treatment systems are not dependent on the number of persons using it (to a degree). Chemical treatment is still required. Construction costs are still the same.
How many seniors use the pool?
How many persons use a pit toilet?
Then, there are local pricing problems….Environmental studies, permits, insurance, grounds up keep, etc.
And there are land acquisition costs. How are you going to divide the cost for YOUR space.
The bottom line is that there is no one “fair” way to distribute costs. And if 2 people stay in a pop tent or 28′ rig or 45′ rig, how would YOU divide all of this mess up?
People are great at complaining. No one EVER seems to offer solutions…Do any of you who complain actually run a park?
Like others have already stated, if you don’t like the price, move to another space. No one is control of prices except the owners. If there a bunch of amenities and you have a large crowd, you’ll pay more. It doesn’t matter if you are by yourself or not.
The owner should just raise his rate to 35.00 a night because doing what he does is going to make him lose potential campers.
To begin with RVs are a luxury item. If you can’t afford the campground fees stay somewhere else. If you can afford the RV I’m sure you can afford the space. If not al the rest of us will have plenty of campgrounds to choose from. Oh wait a second ,have you tried getting a campground space lately. They are all booked months in advance. So I would suggest paying the fees or sell your RV . There are plenty of people willing to pay the fees. It’s called supply and demand.
To begin with, I don’t consider my RV to be a luxury. It’s where we live in the winter. Yes, we’re snowbirds and sometimes we have to pay “crazy” prices to stay in an area that for some reason we feel we must, but to pay $50 per night as a matter of course is NOT going to happen. I quite enjoy the odd night at Wal-Mart or a gravel pit.
That being said, I am a firm believer in free enterprise, if they can get 50 or 75 dollars, more power to them, but it would have to be a very special occasion for me.
That’s fine for you Roy but ask any bank in the country for a loan on an rv and they will consider that a luxury item and not a necessity..
You’re right packnrat. Why shouldn’t singles get some discount since they charge for one extra person.
People use facilities not slides. As a single person with a couple of furrballs and one slide I wouldn’t use as much as a couple with a couple of kids in the same rig. I can see figuring out a way to charge more for monstrosities that have dishwashers and washing machines…those campers will use them and consume more resources.
Chuck should name the park, that is the only way to make a change. It`s like not signing your name on a complaint letter…
Century 2 in Salmon ID
I don’t like ridiculous rate structures, or ridiculous discount structures for that matter. But the bottom line is what really speaks to me. Is it reasonable given the location, layout, cleanliness, and amenities? I have a 30′ travel trailer with one slide. A price of $32.50 isn’t terrible for a private park. Unless I can use my Passport America discount, I haven’t seen many less expensive than this. By the way, I read a Passport America note recently that was very complex, and when I finished reading several times I came to the conclusion that qualifying for the discount was impossible. I guess the host just wanted cheap advertising and access to more of the market?
We stopped using state parks a long time ago after they started charging the additional daily entrance fee. Makes good sense to save our money and enjoy the quiet of boondocking and not worry about the cost of RV parks…..they’re not worth the expense or the hassle.
Good idea Robbie; however, in Texas there is very little if any BLM land available, and you can’t stay in a WalMart lot forever. As one reader stated, when gas gets up to $5/gallon, there will be plenty of sites available.