Thursday, December 8, 2022


The readers write: No-frills RV parking on the cheap



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.”



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1 year ago

We do need more no frill RV parks. When going from here to there I just want a clean, safe, rv spot with hook ups. I do not need or want a bunch of extra stuff.

Dr. Mike
5 years ago

Chuck, sign me up! This is the perfect entrepreneurial idea. With all due respect to Mike Sherman, I pay enough taxes. Private ownership is the way to go.

Put together a good business/management plan, and I’ll throw money at it. I’m sure there are a lot of other full-timers and folks that travel via RV for business (like me) that would, too.

Roy Ellithorpe
5 years ago

I would be much happier with Chuck’s $10. deal. When I’m traveling I only need hookups every 4 or 5 nights and then I’m happy to pay the going rate, but the other 4 nights I wouldn’t go to the trouble of hooking up. Why else would they install 3 holding tanks, a water pump and 8 batteries?

5 years ago

We actually found a similar campground in TX. Full hook-ups, no other facilities. Level sites with nice grass in between sites. $25/night. We gladly paid the extra $15/night from your idea just to have a well maintained site with good hookups. Wish we traveled through that area more often because we would be happy to give them our business on every overnight stop of our trip. BTW, no onsite manager, no security. It’s just off an interstate and you pay your fee at a restaurant on an adjacent property. It was great!

5 years ago

Ten Buck Chucks ! It’s great ! Ignore all of the nay sayer’s, it will work because there is a need for it. All payments can be paid remotely with an app by credit card just like car parks then stick the receipt number in the RV window. Have warning signs to say if you have not paid you will be clamped. Same with the electric and water hook up’s pay online and get an access code to turn on the hook up’s. Set the water to 50 gallons max so that if there is a fault it won’t flood the site. Charge by the 15 hour blocks, in at 6 pm out by 9 am. I think crowd funding is the place to find the cash and RV ing investors would get a discount code.
Put me down for $500.
When Mark Lemonis hears about this it will be too late for the rest of us. Just think of the money he could make by having one at EVERY camping world.


Roy Ellithorpe
5 years ago
Reply to  Richard

I was just going to say, keep badmouthing Lemonis and he’ll slide right in and steal your idea. That’s one way to git’erdun.

5 years ago

How about a coin op RV park? Basic site $5-10.00 want electricity a coin op box that will give you X amount of KWH for a dollar, same with water and to open the dump valve another $5-10,, just pay for what you need/want

J French
5 years ago

Problem with opening a No Frills stopover is to draw enough overnight or 2 day business.
We already have 1 located on around 10 acres 15 miles away on I-49. It draws mainly longterm monthly migratory type workers & remains 1/2 full with zero security.

Best bet is Passport America usually Sunday to Thursday 1/2 off, a Golden Age over 62 card which is 1/2 off at Federal & most State campgrounds.
These are what I use & where not 100%, if you plan ahead on where you will stop, call before you drive up to booked out weekend & summer conditions, works well.

We discovered the best time for Retiree’s to travel is March to late May & Sept to mid November. In other words away from School Holidays.

John Petruccelli
5 years ago

I love Chuck’s idea for the No-Frills Over Nite Campgrounds. If anyone reads the “forums” about where to find over nite camping, you’ll start to see the need to establish these types of parks. I wish that I had the means ($) to invest in this idea. Maybe as an investor you can get some sort of “pass” or “discount” when using one. I see it as a win-win scenario. Money can be made and with the profits small improvements can be built. The idea of setting them up as a daytime charging station was brilliant too. I’m sure that electric powered RV’s isn’t that far fetched or far away and when that happens all the more reason to have electric at these parks.

Ron Cook
5 years ago

On no frills parking I think we would get better quicker results by looking for upgraded rest areas with perhaps some separated off gated areas with pay machines. The infrastructure is already there and the security is often in place and sometimes even dump stations.
Passport America gets one into many places for $13 -18 currently anyway.

Ron Cook
5 years ago

I wonder what would happen if instead of replacing a mislabeled weight sticker the government rules were that the hardware had to be upgraded to match the sticker.
I personally believe that the axle and tire specs should be required to match the total loaded weight of the trailer without subtracting hitch weight.

5 years ago
Reply to  Ron Cook

I agree. They should be forced to do the upgrade at their own expense. That would make them do a more competent check on the ratings.

5 years ago
Reply to  Ron Cook

When you buy your rig, write the weight rating into the contract.
If recalled because the weight is less, the dealer violated the contract and you can void it.