Tip for RV park owners: How to make more money at the expense of RVers


By Bob Difley

Finding a campsite could get a lot harder if the suggestions made by Brad Templeton writing in Forbes Magazine take hold. According to Templeton, campground owners could reap more business if they started to cater to the owners of electric vehicles (EV) on road trips.

“Even without the electric RV, RV parks can and should take some steps to welcome all the people doing road trips in electric cars,” writes Templeton. “When driving with an EV, charging while you sleep is by far the preferred way to do it. It requires no (waking) time and no detours, and it’s gentler on the battery than high-speed charging. And there are RV parks already everywhere in all the places good for road trips.”

Templeton even advises how a campground or RV park owner can do this, such as build camping cabins with 50-amp service, and “consider pitching some tents in between the RV pads and renting them.” Oh joy, more campers squeezing into what in most RV parks is already too little space between campers.

And Templeton elaborates (in case you didn’t recognize this as a perk): “In fact, many RV campers may find it quite a nice perk to be able to use such a tent, since they could put the kids in it and not need to reconfigure the couches or dinettes for them to sleep.” He also suggested filling some of the campsites with rental trailers complete with bedding and cooking gear, making it easier for those without an RV or camping gear to use the campground.

So the questions that pop up on such a plan would include: Unless the park has lots of unused space, how can you fit more campers in where conditions are already crowded? How do you expect to handle the increased traffic, maintenance and cleanliness in restrooms and showers? Will all the additional power outlets stress your electrical grids causing power outages?

But even more important is the possibility of the number of campsites in relation to the number of RVs – and now including EV road travelers – on the road, making getting a campsite even more difficult than it is now. This would result in an already almost impossibility of obtaining a campsite when taking a spur-of-the-moment camping trip, when traveling without a planned agenda, or as a fulltimer, or on an extended camping trip not knowing where you might end up at night. That means not only the likely chance of taking fewer camping trips but also the necessity of having to make reservations even more months in advance.

Do you think these are good ideas, beneficial to RVers and not just for the increased profitability of park owners? Are you willing to welcome more campers, more packed conditions, and less privacy around your campsite? I would like to see your comments.


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Rory R
6 months ago

If CG owners would keep the sites and CG clean, not double-up or triple-up on the number of sites in the same amount of space, RV’ers would by word of mouth recommend these CG’s to other RV’ers and in no time this site would become a favorite and would be near or at capacity. All this adding of services in the same amount of space available just cuts down on the distance between sites, which in many cases is already a problem. Try cutting out some of the supervised activities which not everyone is looking for. I will take a clean private site over basket weaving, bingo, and other things I can do on my own, and find others who are interested in the same thing.

Ed Jones
1 year ago

I suspect that Mr. Templeton has never spent a single night in a crowded RV Park such as we are now dealing with throughout the U.S. If he was a regular patron of most of the existing campgrounds in this country I don’t believe that he would be trying to promote any additional accommodations be shoe-horned into what is already an overcrowded situation. He needs to be promoting additional campgrounds and RV Parks instead of writing about adding EV-charging stations, camping cabins, tents, etc. for electric vehicle operators in these existing facilities. As others have pointed out, at this time EV-charging stations would be much more appropriate being located in the parking lots of hotels and motels.

Tommy Molnar
3 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

I’m betting your average Tesla owner is NOT looking for a tent site to sleep in while his spendy electric car charges up. As Ed says, charging stations are better suited to hotels and motels.

1 year ago

Campgrounds whine when people stay at Walmart-if they even try gouging more then Walmart & others will be very busy. Walmarts are being pressured by towns to not allow overnight (by campgrounds). We spend much money in the stores/CrackerBarrels, etc they wouldn’t get so we do pay there

1 year ago

Why not install EV charging stations at MOTELS and HOTELS, which is where most non-RVing travelers tend to stay??? Duh!!!
As others have noted, I’ve also seen unused (Tesla) charging stations in places as out-of-the-way as Tonopah, NV…. Sounds like the article author was someone who thought he had a “genius” idea but ends up showing how little he really knows about RV parks and campgrounds.

Tommy Molnar
3 months ago
Reply to  Ellen

All the way down Hwy 95 from Reno to Vegas, there are Tesla charging stations (Hawthorne, Tonopah, Beatty) and like Ellen, I’ve never seen anyone charging up.

Joel and Betty
1 year ago

Gouging RV Parks…..How about this one.
Chula Vista RV owned by Sun Resorts now charges $100 per night or more and even after you
reserve a spot they charge you $30. more to ‘guarantee’ that spot you reserved….and then they double book and have to move you when you already paid the $30.
We Californians will pay anything to get out of the heat and on to the beach.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Actually you can save money reading Forbes magazine at Libraries, and canceling your subscription.

Bill Smith
1 year ago

Why can’t Tesla just sell an optional RV-50amp to EV Charge Port adapter. Then the travelers can figure out for themselves how to pick a camp site.

John T
1 year ago

Many parking lots now have EV charging stations. I have never, ever seen a single EV being charged at one of these stations.

Deborah Mason
1 year ago

Just because they could doesn’t mean they should try to squeeze non camping EV clients into an environment they don’t seek. And doing it at the expense of the RVing public would not be a good move. Clearly the author had no concept of what RV traveling is like, not any concern for the quality of the experience.

1 year ago

EV-charging stations should be available in the parking lots of all major hotel chains first, before campground owners feel like they need to take up any slack. When I’m traveling by car – and not RV – when it comes to overnight accommodations, I’m looking for a hotel, not a campground.