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 > Building New Campground. Opinions Welcome!

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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 03/08/19 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are some good opinions here and discussion here.

I assume you're doing this already, but please pay good attention to what the development would cost and what the return on investment might look like and whether you could survive charging what the going rate is in your area. I would imagine that talking with other existing campground owners in the general region could be very helpful. I'm thinking of questions such as what utilities are available at each location, and whether it could support a campground. Is the electric grid sufficient for n 50A sites? Is there city water and/or sewer with sufficient capacity? If no sewer or water, how much would it cost to put in a sufficient, approved well and septic or other sewage treatment system? Does zoning permit a campground, or how hard is it to get a variance for one? What sorts of hoops do you need to jump through for the state environmental protection agencies? What are labor rates like for employees to run the campground (assuming you will need at least some help)? Do you have the capital available to build what needs to be built?

I certainly don't want to discourage the development of campgrounds, but there is a whole lot more to it than just putting some numbers on stakes and building a bathhouse. Occasionally it's easy to dream about making one without realizing some of the difficulties and expenses that go with it. I'm sure I don't know even half of the challenges (nor, for that matter, some of the upsides).





agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 03/08/19 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From others who have tried this, the big financial issue is putting in sewer lines and a treatment facility of some sort. You need to talk to your county health dept assuming they handle this sort of thing. Will they allow a big septic tank or not? Are you close to municipal sewer lines and maybe could tie into those?

Power and water are not so costly. But sewer lines have to have the correct slope which gets to be difficult. The slope is 1/4 to 3 inches per foot of line. So if the furthest pad is 200 feet away that puts the line at least 50 inches deep at the near end. You can get around this by putting in pumps but they have to be powered and maintained. It also may mean you'll have to hire a licensed engineer to sign the plans.

Thinking about water they might say this requires a water chlorination system. Depends on how they classify the water system. That means someone would have to get a water treatment license, not so hard since you'd need the lowest level.

Hearing this should make you imagine your money sprouting wings and flying away.


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Rug

GREED COUNTY, Boerne Texas

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Posted: 03/08/19 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Things you might want to consider when laying out the park. Nice wide roads.
Plenty of room on the corners.
Nice long wide sites.
If you have trees make sure they are not close to the roads. Some times it is very hard to get out of the site if a tree is at the front of the site.
It would be nice if the sites had just a slite angle. This makes it easy in and out.

MAKE SURE ALL SITES HAVE THE WEST ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE RV. This way it is nice to sit outside your rv and the sun is behind you.

Good Luck with your project.


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tragusa3

upstate south carolina

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Posted: 03/08/19 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I see that others had the same thought I did. Two completely different clients and ownership experiences.

I would not drive 24 miles off of my route when travelling. But, that isn't a consideration when going to a destination park. If you are a destination park, you must be sure there is enough draw to have clients. You would also have a more relaxed experience managing. On the flip side, the interstate itself is likely a draw, thus you will have many one night travelers. Probably busier management.

I think it would come down to what the vision is for you as a manager/owner. If the motivation is money, probably the interstate property. If it is to live in a quiet park like setting while enjoying your clients, then the wooded property.

Disclaimer, this opinions are based on no particular knowledge. [emoticon]


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Busskipper

Grasonville,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 03/08/19 02:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Packbacker wrote:

My family is working on building a new campground from scratch and we would like to get some opinions from campers or campground owners. We considered building right off a major interstate on about 35 acres but are now looking at building on our own property. Our property is 12 minutes from the interstate. It is located on 500 acres of beautiful longleaf pine with unique sandhills topography and river access. We plan to offer typical park amenities such as pool, playground, splash pad, bath houses, etc. We also have miles of walking/bicycle trails, access to the slow, tranquil river and cabins rentals. Our main question we'd like opinions on is whether this type of park would be more attractive to campers versus a park right off the interstate and would the 12 minute drive be a turnoff? Also worth noting that the 12 minute drive is a 4 lane highway that is 55mph the entire ride.


First question is What is the Mission?

Do you have the Zoning to do what you want?

Why would I stop there.

Is there a Need?

Why would anyone stop there.

Is there existing Competition? Are they over filled?

Long term - Mid-term or Short term?

Do you want it to make Money?

Access to Sewer, Water and Electric?

Year round or Seasonal? Most seasons are SHORT too short.

Start off small - 10-20 with minimum investment and Risk, then expand later?

Need to have answers to these and many more questions.

I've owned a small park in my past life and the Sewer and Water are really Big $$ if they do not work. So IMHO you need to make very smart decisions especially relating to Sewer Costs. Layout needs to be Smart - Very Smart for customer and Owner, this will affect the Bottom line.

As in all Real Estate, Location, Location, Location. Needs to be where People WANT to BE.


Best of Luck,


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Busskipper

Grasonville,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 03/08/19 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

From others who have tried this, the big financial issue is putting in sewer lines and a treatment facility of some sort. You need to talk to your county health dept assuming they handle this sort of thing. Will they allow a big septic tank or not? Are you close to municipal sewer lines and maybe could tie into those?

Power and water are not so costly. But sewer lines have to have the correct slope which gets to be difficult. The slope is 1/4 to 3 inches per foot of line. So if the furthest pad is 200 feet away that puts the line at least 50 inches deep at the near end. You can get around this by putting in pumps but they have to be powered and maintained. It also may mean you'll have to hire a licensed engineer to sign the plans.

Thinking about water they might say this requires a water chlorination system. Depends on how they classify the water system. That means someone would have to get a water treatment license, not so hard since you'd need the lowest level.

Hearing this should make you imagine your money sprouting wings and flying away.


Sorry - but in the 30 years of laying sewer lines - and Hundreds if not thousands of miles laid, normally they were at .5 percent - so in a hundred feet we would have 6 inches of fall, in a normal run. If you have over 2 percent then you need to start to worry about the solid and the liquids separating on the longer runs or wearing out the bottom of the Pipe[emoticon].

Plumbers running laterals might have much more (2+ percent) but that is mainly because they use a level whereas a main line is laid with a Laser.

You are correct in the Cost on the Sewer Mains and the Mini Plants required along with good tasting water and the water Requirements - water never stops $$$ as it is tested Weekly in most locations.

Don't mean to be a PITA but ...........

agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 03/08/19 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well I cannot say I ever ran sewer lines professionally but I did go to college and studied environmental engineering. The national plumbing code specifies 1/4 to 3 inch drops per foot:

Balkin Plumbing

However North Carolina seems to specify a shallower slope: NC Code or the use of Mannings formula. That is a minimum 6 inch line tho.

Florida code goes into more detail: FL Code and uses the 1/4 inch per foot for 2.5 inch line. I went to school in Florida.

And he is right, you will get inspected for a water system frequently. They will at a minimum check chlorine levels and maybe once a year run more complete tests for fecal coliform bacteria and other items.

Let me point out that the intensity of oversight by the regulatory agencies varies from state to state. From paranoid (Florida) to eh in some other states. I have no idea where NC falls.

wanderingaimlessly

SOBOVA

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Posted: 03/08/19 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One consideration that has fallen off the comments is the river.
Making this a destination location becomes much easier with access to a decent river for all forms of water recreation, from shore fishing to hosting tournaments, paddle boats to a canoe stream, water access can be a huge draw.
And some premium waterfront sites will always draw higher rents.

magnusfide

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Posted: 03/08/19 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you go for it then leave enough space between campsites to avoid that parking lot feel. Go visit some of your state and national parks to see how much room they have.


First law of science: don't spit into the wind.
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Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 03/08/19 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

295 looks like a good fast road so not an issue but you need to decide if you are a destination park on your own land or a quick stop off of the Interstate on land that you have to buy. A campground can be a temporary use of property near an interchange on a Interstate that will be worth more in 25 years as commercial property. I do not see your area as a destination...B creek does not look very big. Does Ft B need something more like a mobile home park? One advantage of a RV is how little water they use so you should be able to put 1O RV sites on one 1000 gallon septic system...no sewer needed. City water would be a plus. Good Luck


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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