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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > How best to improve a primitive RV site to rent it out?

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Mel Stuplich

Wausau, WI

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Posted: 07/17/21 01:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Methinks that any experienced/dedicated 'boondocker' will love those sites UNIMPROVED.

Dacks Camper

Adirondacks, NY

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Posted: 07/18/21 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I learned a lot from this thread and clearly need to re-think the value of these sites to RVers. There's a clear consensus that I need to get fire rings, insurance (was already working on that), and maybe picnic tables in place to make these sites plausible for rental, so that answered my main question. But I also understand better that there won't be much interest in seasonal rentals from RVers if I don't have water and power, so I need to reconsider either my rental model or my target customers. Thank you all for your input!

FWC

The Wilderness

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Posted: 07/20/21 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quite frankly, I think you would do better positioning these as 'glamping' locations for tent campers than RV sites. Assuming you live in the 'daks I am sure you know that all the DEC areas are completely full and that even dispersed and backcounty camping is really hard to come by. Folks coming up for a long weekend would pay a premium to know they have a reserved, private, 'wilderness' campsite.

Market these as 'wilderness lite', maybe install a small platform with some sort of rain cover, or a lean to, a fire pit (hole in the ground with some rocks) with a few Adirondack chairs and a latrine. Take some over saturated photos at dusk (photoshop out the black flies) with bearded 30 somethings sitting in the Adirondack chairs around the fire with Woolrich and Rumpl blankets, drinking Saranac or a Moscow Mule. All up, it would be a few thousand dollars to improve each site, then I would think you could get $200 per weekend night with the hipster down state crowd. Most folks would probably only stay 2-3 nights, but you could make your investment back in one season. It would all be about the marketing.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 07/20/21 04:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Instead of 4 dispersed sites I would create 4-5 sites on the lake with power and water with the best access, plus the 3 off the grid sites. A centrally located tank for dumping the black which is pumped out as needed for the 4-5 improved sites… blueboy to it.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/20/21 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mel Stuplich wrote:

Methinks that any experienced/dedicated 'boondocker' will love those sites UNIMPROVED.


boondocking is usually free. This gentleman wishes to sell access to the sites on a seasonal basis.


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Bird Freak

Dallas Ga.

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Posted: 07/20/21 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like a great weekend getaway but that would be all for me.


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pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 08/26/21 01:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mel Stuplich wrote:

Methinks that any experienced/dedicated 'boondocker' will love those sites UNIMPROVED.


Yep! Never mind "leasing" or "renting" out your sites. Advertise them as isolated remote, beautiful, serene, quiet, safe and secure, primitive boondocking campsites that must be reserved ahead of time for, say, 3-night minimum stays.

RV folks that don't need or care for the "hookup camping culture" would love access to campsites like this! If you could set up some kind of convenient reservation system for the sites, they should be full just about every day - maybe even in the winter.

Higher than "normal campsite pricing" would probably work just fine. Campers with RV satellite systems could of course have online access when using the sites.


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Tvov

CT

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Posted: 08/26/21 05:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWC wrote:

Quite frankly, I think you would do better positioning these as 'glamping' locations for tent campers than RV sites. Assuming you live in the 'daks I am sure you know that all the DEC areas are completely full and that even dispersed and backcounty camping is really hard to come by. Folks coming up for a long weekend would pay a premium to know they have a reserved, private, 'wilderness' campsite.

Market these as 'wilderness lite', maybe install a small platform with some sort of rain cover, or a lean to, a fire pit (hole in the ground with some rocks) with a few Adirondack chairs and a latrine. Take some over saturated photos at dusk (photoshop out the black flies) with bearded 30 somethings sitting in the Adirondack chairs around the fire with Woolrich and Rumpl blankets, drinking Saranac or a Moscow Mule. All up, it would be a few thousand dollars to improve each site, then I would think you could get $200 per weekend night with the hipster down state crowd. Most folks would probably only stay 2-3 nights, but you could make your investment back in one season. It would all be about the marketing.


FWC has a pretty good plan! Just include space for a camper along with everything above. The tent platform can be used as a nice sitting area if someone comes in with a camper. The advertising ideas are spot on (lol!), except the $200 a night is pushing it. Although, there is that thing in marketing where sometimes you actually sell better if you raise the price "too" high - people just perceive it as being better if it is more expensive.

Dacks Camper - how far away do you live? Because you will have to check the campsites after they have been used, and if there is a long time between uses you will have to check them every time before renting.

Also, at a minimum people with campers will dump their grey water at the site... if it isn't done constantly it is not too bad, but... when they dump grey, their black tank valve may "accidentally" open up. Or all this accidental dumping may occur a little ways along the access road. Ooops!

I know everyone here are paragons of virtue, I'm talking about "the other guys".

Interesting plan and ideas, keep us updating on how it goes. I am actually very interested in what you have to do in dealing with government bureaucracy!


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Tvov

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Posted: 08/26/21 05:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh, and it's not just the RV'rs - the tenters will just be pooping in the woods around the campsites, which is why outhouses are something to think about!

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