Building a small RV park.

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Jim

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The Deer Springs RV Campground Initiative

Trish and I have wanted to make a small RV Campground for a long time, but we just didn’t have the time. But lately, our interest has been renewed and I think we’re going to make a run at it.

The site we have chosen is a meadow down at the bottom of our property. It’s not perfectly level, but I had a company come by on Tuesday and take a look at leveling it out. The road coming in must be widened as well. Everything is subject to change of course, but here is what I’m planning at this time.

We hope to have a total of 7 sites, 4 pull through and 3 back in. This give us 6 for rental purpose and 1 for a campground host.

The good stuff: (depending on how you look at it)
  • There will be full hookups at all of them
  • Charcoal BBQ and fire rings
  • There will be a minimum of 40’ between each of the individual RV pads, more in some cases
  • The views are wonderful, and the setting is remotely luxurious
  • Two huge dog runs, one for small dogs and one for larger dogs
  • On site laundry room
  • A nice pavilion with large, group BBQ setup
  • Killer hiking, fishing and great stock Jeep trails abound. We’ll provide custom maps, GPS coordinates, etc.
The not so good stuff: (again, depending on how you look at it)
  • There is no cell service in the area
  • No cable and no Internet. I hope to be able to solve the Internet issue but I’m not sure just yet
  • There will be no showers or toilets. There is plenty of room for them if we decide later to add them. But with full hookups, the guests should be OK and we don’t want the extra maintenance.
I’m very interested in everyone’s comments, suggestions and ideas. Below are some pictures of the project area.

Thank you all!


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Give me a location. I be there this fall. :)
 

Jim

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Jeep trails, full hookups, space between campsites, beautiful setting. Sounds like paradise to me!
 
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I think you've hit on an interesting idea, @Jim; a boutique RV park (meant in a positive way). After this coronavirus pandemic, I think a lot of RVers might be looking for nice, smaller parks with plenty of space between coaches. With the amenities you can offer, it would seem to be a great spot for relatively long-term stays.

Go for it! (I'm learning fast from @Neal how to spend other people's money for them. :ROFLMAO: )

TJ
 

Jim

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I think you've hit on an interesting idea, @Jim; a boutique RV park (meant in a positive way). After this coronavirus pandemic, I think a lot of RVers might be looking for nice, smaller parks with plenty of space between coaches. With the amenities you can offer, it would seem to be a great spot for relatively long-term stays.

Go for it! (I'm learning fast from @Neal how to spend other people's money for them. :ROFLMAO: )

TJ
I'm actually staying at an RV park now and doing some research. :) The people are nice and they try hard to be friendly and provide an enjoyable stay. But the sites are poorly layed out, there are no picnic tables and everything has a "hard" feel to it. They advertise "fast" WiFi but it's not fast. It's basically non-existant except for short periods of time when nobody else is online. I'd rather tell people that there is no Internet and let them find a little bit of Internet, instead of telling them it's fast and disappoint them when they find out differently.

But that said, the park (they only have about 5 spots) has some beautiful views and some wonderful areas to hike.
 
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Jim

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Jeep trails, full hookups, space between campsites, beautiful setting. Sounds like paradise to me!
There are a slew of stock friendly trails, for both short and long trips. And there are some "funner" :) trails that are not going to be stock friendly. So yeah, fun for Jeep enthusiasts of multiple skill sets.
 
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It sounds like a great idea. The one and only issue I would have would be if in fact there is "no cell service" as you stated. What if someone were to have chest pains at 2am, fell off their RV roof in the middle of the afternoon, or choked on a chicken bone......

Being without cell service or any way to communicate with the outside world works on cruise ships maybe where emergency services and help is right there, but a remote campground? I'm thinking you would have to have some type of land line available for emergencies.
 

Jim

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It sounds like a great idea. The one and only issue I would have would be if in fact there is "no cell service" as you stated. What if someone were to have chest pains at 2am, fell off their RV roof in the middle of the afternoon, or choked on a chicken bone......

Being without cell service or any way to communicate with the outside world works on cruise ships maybe where emergency services and help is right there, but a remote campground? I'm thinking you would have to have some type of land line available for emergencies.
Agree completely. And the irony of it all is 8 years ago there was a big push by a cell tower company to get permission to put up a tower on the mountain across from me. And they got it based on the safety argument as the Appalachian trail goes through that area. But then, nobody put up any equipment on the tower. So there you go, I have a cell tower 2 miles from my house and nobody will use it.
 
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I suppose if a camp host was always on the property and had some sort of radio to contact emergency services that could work. I suspect a sat phone would be very expensive. I assume rural neighbors that do not have cell service have land lines?
 

Jim

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I suppose if a camp host was always on the property and had some sort of radio to contact emergency services that could work. I suspect a sat phone would be very expensive. I assume rural neighbors that do not have cell service have land lines?
That is plan B. We are at the end of Frontiers line, and they tell me I have the last number that can be issued. I don't know if that is BS or that is really the way it works. (We're just one step ahead of Oliver on that poll in Green Acres.) But if I can't get another landline, then I'll have an extension run from my hard line phone to the laundry, and make that phone available to everyone.

But I'm also checking with the County Commissioners to find out how we can put some pressure on Verizon and ATT to get one of them to put some equipment on that tower. After all, we've supported them for years while they raked in billions, it's time for them to service their customers. (sounds good on paper, right?) :)
 
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I haven't kept up with this thread but it seems you're discussing phone options? If your CG can offer WiFi don't all phones have WiFi calling now?
 
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Jim

Joined
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North Carolina
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2016 Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock
I haven't kept up with this thread but it seems you're discussing phone options? If your CG can offer WiFi don't all phones have WiFi calling now?
If I can shame Verizon or AT&T to put up some equipment on the tower I'll be set. If not, then I'll have to bring in some satellite Internet, but I didn't want to do that if I didn't have to. As far as I know, there is only Viasat or Hughes to work with and they both suck.

Update on the layout.

I found a spot on the hill that I can comfortably get a road to and I plan to add this new site to the lot. I’ll clear a pad big enough that someone can turn a 45’ motor home around. It’ll be completely surrounded with trees and will be an awesome secluded spot. Very nice short and long range views and it's stay cool all summer long.

Also, I'll hang a 2-meter antenna from the tallest tree and stretch out a multi band dipole between some of the other trees. Given the elevation of 3,500', I think it'll be a perfect site for someone with a ham radio on board. There’s a bunch of those hams out there these days, lol. I know i was surprised to find out just how many RV’ers are hams. So this should be a wonderful place for them to stay. It's not a selling point to many RV'ers, but it's a nice perk for those who would use it. And given I already have the antenna's, coax and other associated parts, it's not going to add any appreciable expense to the project.
 
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Jim

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In our quest to create the best outdoor royal possible, we are also going to provide each lot (we are up to 8 now) with a private, screened in room to escape the summer sun and the evening bugs. I snagged this photo off the Internet but it's very close to what we envision our to look like.
 

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Ok, expenses to get it put together along with advertising to start getting folks in there. Then with all the cost of adding the amenities, plus your expenses (and time) to provide connectivity to the outside world. I would assume business 101 says the lot fees would have to be high for you to get your finances into a profit margin. Do you have an idea of the lot rental costs? I most assuredly would come to such a paradise. I would probably never want to leave. Some of us are just retired moms and dads, on a fixed income and always look for inexpensive options. Will you have, say, lots with no hook ups, nice and secluded, with access to laundry? Maybe a large fire ring. I cook mostly outside on an open fire. I don't need connectivity but I do like it when I have it :)
 
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Jim

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Ok, expenses to get it put together along with advertising to start getting folks in there. Then with all the cost of adding the amenities, plus your expenses (and time) to provide connectivity to the outside world. I would assume business 101 says the lot fees would have to be high for you to get your finances into a profit margin. Do you have an idea of the lot rental costs? I most assuredly would come to such a paradise. I would probably never want to leave. Some of us are just retired moms and dads, on a fixed income and always look for inexpensive options. Will you have, say, lots with no hook ups, nice and secluded, with access to laundry? Maybe a large fire ring. I cook mostly outside on an open fire. I don't need connectivity but I do like it when I have it
Profit? lol, what's this "profit" that you speak of? :unsure:

I'm lucky as I already own the land, bought and paid for 10 years ago. Right now it's just something pretty that I drive through every day on the way up the mountain. Water is basically free as I have a wonderful spring up on the mountain. That water goes into a 2,000 gallon holding tank, and from there it gravity feeds down to the lower areas of the property. As backup, I drilled a 20 gallon a minute well last year. So yeah, lots of water. I own a sawmill and live on 50 acres of heavily wooded land, so a major part of the lumber is also greatly discounted.

The other things like septic, electric, trenching, pipe, wire, water line, etc., I will have to pay for, but I've got some Newmar cash put aside and I'll just have to hold off on that new motor home for a year or so. :) But at the end of the day, it's all paid for so turning a profit isn't a life and death issue like it would be if I were working on borrowed money.

Cell service is definitely the tough nut to crack, but I'm hoping I can work that out. The area that I'm in needs cell service desperately, and this has been demonstrated by the Covid 19 quarantine as well as recent injuries on the Appalachian Trail that went unaided due to lack of communication. A little political wrangling may bring the needed service into view.

During summer months, we plan to ask $40.00 a night with a 3-night minimum. During the winter months we will probably rent out to those looking to store their RV's until summer rolls around. But income is often derived from the money you save vs the money you bring in, and much of what I am doing will become a tax deduction where as before, it was just money spent.

I haven't worked on the advertising angle much but I really don't see that as an issue either. Our campground driveway is on the road to one of the major campgrounds in the area, a place called Standing Indian Campground. They are booked solid most of the year and thousands of RV'ers drive by my place every summer looking for a place to stay. My sign will be quite prominent as they drive by, and I'm sure I'll pick up quite a bit of business just from that alone.
 

Jim

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Another note on the advertising point. I own a bunch of rental property and we've always kept out places rented. Mostly based on delivering more than expected and by asking a fair (or better than fair) price. I tend to under-promise and over-deliver, and that has always kept my places full when others are not.

I would expect that by our second year of operation, we will have more reservations than we can handle, mostly on word of mouth and repeat visitors. Sure hope so anyway! :)
 
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Jim would this be located in North Carolina?
 

Jim

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Jim would this be located in North Carolina?
Yes it would. 13 miles west of Franklin NC. Out hwy 64W, Are you ready to book a weekend? :)
 
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Yes it would. 13 miles west of Franklin NC. Out hwy 64W, Are you ready to book a weekend? :)
Yes Sir! DW would love it ! Let me know when it's ready!
 
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