Recently, we’ve seen a massive increase in RVers complaining about poor customer service at RV parks and campgrounds. We understand that management and staff have bad days from time to time. However, it’s a serious problem when those days turn into consecutive days, weeks, and months. So have RV parks gotten worse when it comes to customer service, or has it always been this bad?
Today, we’re looking at what campers should expect regarding customer service at campgrounds. Let’s get started and see if the customer is always right, even at campgrounds.
What Is the Difference Between an RV Park and a Campground?
While many use the terms RV park and campground interchangeably, they’re two different types of camping locations. RV parks typically provide a resort-style atmosphere that lends itself to a more comfort-based camping.
Sites are often very close, and there’s not much green space. They often have full hook-ups, so guests don’t have to worry about watching their water usage.
On the other hand, campgrounds tend to be more nature-centered atmospheres. Management does its best to create a natural setting.
Sites are less uniform and typically have more space between them. However, these may or may not have full hook-up connections. When people talk about going camping, they’re mostly booking sites at campgrounds.
Campgrounds typically have a stay limit for guests, usually around two weeks. However, RV parks often don’t limit stay lengths and will often allow extended stays. Guests can stay for weeks or months in an RV park.
Here’s why you should leave your electronic devices at home on your next camping trip.
Do RV Parks Have Bad Customer Service?
Some parks do a better job than others regarding customer service. While some RV parks have awful customer service, just as many offer a custom-centered approach to business.
So just because you have a bad experience at one RV park doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience at the next park.
Why Do RV Parks Have Bad Customer Service?
Some RV parks have lousy customer service because the management lacks motivation. Some RV park owners have owned their campgrounds for several decades and paid off any debts for the property a long ago. Bad customer service typically follows when any type of management doesn’t feel the pressure to meet a certain customer experience.
Some of the worst customer services we’ve ever experienced have been in areas with limited amounts of competition for RV parks. When campers have very few options when it comes to places to park their rigs, the businesses don’t have to convince customers to stay with them. Management often knows that local attractions will have tourists coming to the area no matter what.
How Do I Find RV Parks With Good Customer Service?
If you want to avoid disappointment at an RV park, you can do a few things. Here’s how you can find RV parks with a reputation for good customer service.
One of the best ways to determine if an RV park has good or bad customer service is to read reviews. You can read them on Google Maps and have a good idea of what to expect. The more reviews for a park, the clearer picture you’ll have.
Regarding reviews, it’s important to remember that most guests aren’t sprinting to review sites. Reviews often are either because a guest had a tremendously great experience or a horrendously awful experience. Take some reviews with a grain of salt and know that the reviewer may not describe the situation accurately.
Word of Mouth
This is one of the best ways to find RV parks with good customer service. The more you RV, the more connections you’ll make with fellow RVers. Once you make a handful of solid RV friendships, you can ask your RV friends where they stayed in the area and how their experience was. If you’re really friends with them, they’re not going to send you to a place with awful customer service.
You can also head into any of the large online RV communities. RVers are very kind and do a tremendous job of looking out for one another. If they had a good or bad experience, they’ll tell others about it.
When all else fails, use apps like Campendium and iOverlander. These apps house huge databases with campground information. They’re tremendous resources that can be extremely helpful in finding the perfect RV park. You can filter the results down for the area where you’re hoping to stay and filter results to only show RV parks. It’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in an RV park.
What Does It Mean When an RV Park Has a 10-Year Rule?
The 10-year rule is common in many premium RV parks. This rule prohibits any RVs more than 10 years old from staying. Some have very strict policies they follow, and others are more relaxed. A strict park may allow someone in an RV over 10 years old if they’re passing through and it’s only for a night. However, we’ve seen some who require pictures or ask to see the RV’s registration to confirm its age.
If you’re traveling in such an RV and plan to stay in RV parks regularly, you’ll want to be on the lookout for this rule. It can be annoying, but park owners want to maintain a certain atmosphere for their parks.
Is Owning an RV Park Profitable?
Like any business, owning an RV park can be very profitable if you know what you’re doing. If you’re investing in an old RV park, it can turn into a money pit. Keeping up with maintenance can be very expensive, and ensuring guests have everything they need can be challenging.
If you have an RV park in the right area, you may not have to try that hard to attract guests. Parks near popular travel destinations and high-traffic areas like national parks and major cities are practically guaranteed guests. They can charge premium prices and deliver less than premium customer service.
Why Do Campgrounds Fail?
It’s surprising that campgrounds and RV parks can fail when we’re seeing RVs leave dealerships as fast as they are. Campgrounds typically fail because of poor management. Wasteful spending and pricing that doesn’t match the experience customers receive also sink a campground extremely quickly.
When people book a spot at a campground, they want to know they’ll have a great experience. If a campground doesn’t enforce rules and the entire stay is chaotic, the word will get out in the RV community, and cancellations will become the norm. It’s only a matter of time before the campground can’t pay its bills, and they have to make the hard choice to close.
Is It Worth Staying at RV Parks?
RV parks typically cost substantially more than a traditional campground because of the many amenities they provide guests. If you are looking for a more luxurious experience, an RV park will be appealing. However, if you’re the type of person who wants to camp in nature and enjoy a more natural experience, you’re not going to enjoy RV parks and their premium price.
Whether an RV park is worth considering will really depend on what you’re looking to get out of your stay. For some RVers, it’s their preferred type of camping.
What about you? Do you prefer camping in RV parks or campgrounds?
If You Love RVing, You Need to Stay Informed
Don’t rely on biased RV industry news sources to keep you informed with RVing news.
Stick with Nomadic News. We publish daily articles and breaking stories that matter to your RV lifestyle.