Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris
Ten Buck Chuck’s
After editor Chuck Woodbury suggested what America needs is a chain of no-frills RV overnight spots at a decent price, we had plenty of feedback.
Perhaps the defining word came from Edward Price: “You need a snappier name for your chain of bare-bones roadside park-grounds [rather than Chuck’s Super Express RV Stops], so I suggest ‘Ten Buck Chuck’s’. Hope that doesn’t infringe on Trader Joe’s.”
Brent is ready to sign on. “I believe there are many cities that could use one of these quick stop/cheap places. Capital costs for approval and set up would severely impact most of our retirement nest eggs. But I still think it would work, everywhere we are. I will ponder and look for a good location. While I’m doing that, would you send investors my way?”
Still others have plenty of ideas to contribute to the no-frills parking spots. Ken Anderson says, “I disagree about the vault toilets/no dump station part. Many of those $450K RVs sold are small trailers or Class B motorhomes with puny water tanks and cassette toilets or porta-potties that need to be emptied every two to four days. Without showers or dump stations, such parks would be only a small improvement over dry camping.”
And Bob Thompson thinks there’s gold in them thar roadside stopovers. “There is a travel revolution coming and it will increase the profitability of ‘Ten Buck Chuck’s’. Electric vehicles are the future of travel. By having a charging station, (which is included at each of the sites) the campground operator can increase the revenue since charging would take place primarily in daylight while RVers would be using the facilities overnight. Program the electric meter to run by the hour from 0900 to 1900, and all night otherwise. Locate them along the Interstates and get Elon Musk involved. Go Chuck!”
Mike Sherman adds his own thoughts on security. “Roadside ‘rest-area’ RV parking for a night has merit, but some fine tuning might be in order. Two things are essential for the site to be successful. #1 – Adequate dumpster space for trash. #2 – An on-site host for security. Security cameras will get destroyed by vandals and the kiosk collecting money won’t withstand a sledge hammer for those determined to get at the money.”
Still, others aren’t quite so sure the idea will really fly. John weighs in with his concerns. “You only have to convince your banker that you can make enough money in June, July and August to pay for a large piece of land, put in roads, water lines, whatever, keep your customers safe, (the local police are not going to patrol your private property), provide sourcing for customers to find you, and all ad nauseam. Paper plans do not make things happen…. In reality, a nation like the US with so many people able to travel, it seems that we would invest in the infrastructure to make camping available. Tax the RV’s and put the tax back in the system. It happens a lot in Europe.”
Idea Man Woodbury responds to that. “June, July and August only? Have you been out at other times? Have you been to a Walmart in October or March? Look at the parking lot in most areas of the U.S. RVs. I’d prefer to look at ways something like my idea CAN be done rather than just find ways that it can’t.
“And as far as police to keep customers safe? Come on — federal campgrounds, Forest Service, BLM, etc., have no police patrols and often no other patrols. Some have camp hosts, but most do not. They have pay boxes that somehow manage to avoid break-ins by crooks.
“If every hotel at every significant Interstate off-ramp said, ‘We can’t put up a hotel there for (name your reason),’ there would be none there. Putting up a bare bones campground is cheap by comparison, REAL CHEAP! It can be done.”
Something evil afoot?
Not spinning off any particular article, Carl wonders if some RV manufacturers may be pulling a fast-one on unsuspecting buyers. We’ll let Carl explain it. “Anyone else seeing a trend here on the almost weekly reports of RV manufacturers issuing recalls regarding RV’s being mislabeled as to their carrying capacity weights?
“Seems like this is the new RV industry bait-and-switch tactic. Sell an RV with advertised carrying capacity of say 2000 lbs. then a few months to a year later issue a ‘recall’ where all that is required is to put on a new sticker stating the new carrying capacity has been reduced by half (or more). This is what happens when RV manufacturers use the cheapest and lightest axles they can get away with.
“Willing to bet that if the recall remedy from the federal government was to force the manufacturers to replace the light weight axles with heavy duty ones to match the original advertised weight ratings, we’d be seeing a lot less of these recalls. The manufacturers know full well that their rigs are coming off the line with faulty weight ratings.”