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12 Creative Ways to Make Extra Money at Your Campground

With over 40 million people RVing regularly, campgrounds can be incredibly profitable.

The best way to increase revenue is by boosting occupancy. But what are some alternative ways to make money at your campground?

We connected with several campgrounds and found twelve creative ways to diversify your income and make more money at your RV park.

Earn a little extra money at your RV park

1. Vending Machines

On average, a single vending machine earns $76 a week, or over $300 a month. With that, a vending machine is about a $2,000 investment, so it pays for itself within a year.

It’s a reasonably easy income stream to add to your park, especially if strategically placed–-near a pool, for example. 

2. Laundry

One campground owner reported he profited more on laundry than he did from his campsites! He was the only laundromat nearby and offered multiple machines for guests and local residents to use.

After multiple calls to repairmen, he learned how to fix the units himself, making even more profit from this expected RV park amenity.

Creating a pleasant experience around laundry could be a small but simple way to add value to a guests’ experience. Consider adding another set of machines or offering a small table or countertop for folding clothes. Since most campgrounds charge between $1 to $2.50 per load, you’ll earn back your investment relatively quickly.

3. Pool pass

creative ways to make money

Have a pool? Consider offsetting some of your property costs by opening it up to the local community or friends visiting campers. For example, Jackson Lake Lodge lets guests swim for free and sells community passes for $5 a day–or $50 a season.

Earn a little more money at your RV park

4. Restaurants and food trucks

Restaurants or concession stands add local flair to your park. Not only can they be an added element of hospitality for guests, but they could be an additional marketing tool for your park when opened to the community. 

More and more parks are adopting new options when it comes to dining. Foodtruckoperator.com says that even the federal government “is looking to modernize campgrounds at national parks, and is considering allowing the private sector to run the parks to free up park staff for other tasks.”

Remember, though, that running a restaurant in conjunction with your campground is extra work. If you’re looking for a more straightforward starting point, food trucks have relatively simple permits and can be an easy way to partner with a local vendor to split profits.

5. A good camp store

Retired camping and outdoor industry expert Gary Forster says, “There are many reasons to have a [camp] store. The first is that people expect it.”

Keeping a few essentials on hand goes a long way, whether it’s a quick bite, laundry detergent, firewood, or even RV parts like water or sewer hoses.

We’ve also received feedback from RV parks claiming a fair amount of success selling branded materials and products from local artists or businesses that reflect the local community. Specifically, T-shirts and camping mugs are a couple of the top sellers. You may even offer produce, pictured above, as part of a small farmer’s market.

6. Events

Campgrounds can still offer plenty of low-cost and profitable events for campers. 

Consider:

  • Grilling or cook-off competitions (where people pay to enter and taste the food)
  • Outdoor movie nights (with proper licensing, which you can find help with by joining a campground association)
  • Fall festival complete with a carnival and hayrides
  • Tournaments for youth sports
  • Crafts (especially for kids)
  • A trail of lights during the holiday season

Plenty of potential guests unfamiliar with camping might be willing to try it out if you provide the right incentives to connect with your park. 

For more ideas, RVShare has a list of over 80 activities campgrounds can offer.

7. Wi-Fi

If you’re looking to add immediate value to your campground, start with quality wireless internet. Even if guests want to unplug and experience nature, many will still expect access to Wi-Fi.

Millennials are 73 percent more likely to find themselves taking a trip and, subsequently, working from an RV this year.

While providing decent Wi-Fi is a must, offering a high-speed connection could be a source of profit. A 2018 poll revealed 66 percent of guests would be willing to pay a daily rate for faster internet. And, likely, this number will only go up as more millennials become full-time RVers. Paying extra for premium service will be expected.

Make passive and profitable returns at your RV park

8. Rentals

While rentals generally come with high startup costs, they can also bring high margins. Consider implementing any of these items:

  • Jeeps
  • Dune buggies
  • Four-wheelers
  • Snowmobiles
  • Mountain bikes
  • Kayaks/canoes
  • Grills
  • Pool items (floaties, toys, life jackets, etc.)

The most significant considerations with rentals are your insurance policy and repairs, which can add to your park’s expenses.

9. Experiences

Campgrounds can offer more than just camping.

Here are a few creative ways campgrounds have used their space:

Campgrounds that succeed in repurposing their space take advantage of features unique to their property: lakes and rivers, scenic overlooks, flat or hilly landscapes. What does yours offer? 

10. Partner with local tourism companies and restaurants

Partnering with local businesses is a great way to make commissions and passive income for your campground. See if any local tourist attractions will give your campers discounts for visiting or if they will give you a referral credit for sending campers their way.

11. Event rentals

Especially during shoulder seasons, find imaginative ways to take advantage of potential event space. Consider renting out your clubhouse, pavilions, etc. for:

  • Reunions and get-togethers
  • Corporate retreats
  • Weddings
  • Kids camps and field trips
  • Conventions and conference
  • Concerts

12. Yield management

One of the resources that Good Sam Campground Solutions provides its parks is yield management (or dynamic pricing).

This allows campgrounds to accommodate guests during both peak and shoulder seasons. A camper can go online, get a quote, and make a reservation without you having to get involved.

Yield management allows you to charge more or less based on demand, like charging $70/night on holiday weekends and $50/night in the shoulder season.

On average, our campgrounds have saved 300 hours of administrative work annually through dynamic pricing and online reservations.

Putting it together

Finding creative ways to make money at your RV park doesn’t have to be an overwhelming effort. Consider your campground and what you could realistically implement without draining your resources.

Then, 

  1. Make a little money by adding vending machines, laundry services, and pool passes.
  2. Make a little more money by offering restaurants or food trucks, a well-stocked camp store, interactive events, and quality Wi-Fi.
  3. Make passive and profitable income by offering rentals, unique experiences (weddings, wildlife, breweries, etc.), partnering with local businesses, event rentals, and yield management.

The simplest way to increase revenue

Online reservations are one of the easiest ways to bring income to your campground. Good Sam Campground Solutions brings RV parks a 25 percent annual increase in reservation volume. Request a demo today!

Campground Management Companies

Campground Software Reviews: What Campground Solution Should You Use?

As a park operator, you already have enough on your plate without having to worry if your management software is up to snuff. There are more options than ever, and finding the right campground solution can feel like an arduous task.

How does each campground software compare? What are other customers saying about different management systems? What campground solution is best for your park?

To help you sort through the myriad of options here’s is a comparison of campground software reviews, as well as what campground solution you should use for your park.

campground solution

Campground Software Comparisons

There are a handful of reservation software solutions out there, and most of them provide online booking at a free or relatively inexpensive rate. That said, most systems are either lacking in features offered, pricing plans, or their reach of customers.

Checkfront 

Price: $39 a month

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

ResNexus 

Price: $3 – $16 a month (per room)

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

RoverPass 

Price:$2 per booking

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: Yes

Marketing and Advertising: No

Firefly 

Price:$2 per booking

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

Bonfire 

Price: $2 per booking (long-term) or $14.50+ (per month)

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

Campspot 

Price: $2 per booking

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

CampLife 

Price: Starts at $99 a month + $3.50 per booking

Online Booking: Yes

Web Design: No

Marketing and Advertising: No

The Best Choice: Good Sam Campground Solutions

Good Sam Campground Solutions is ahead of the pack when it comes to a complete campground software comparison. 

With an integrated marketing strategy and booking software tailor-made for park operators, Good Sam drives more customers to your park than anyone else. While other software are limited in their offerings, Campground Solutions features a comprehensive list of services to accommodate any campground.

Pricing

Good Sam Campground Solutions is FREE for members and only charges guests a $1 booking fee. For non-members, it’s still only $99 a month, with guests paying a $3 booking fee.

Marketing and Advertising

When it comes to reach, Good Sam connects with more campers than anyone else, including:

  • 2 Million+ Good Sam Members
  • 5 Million+ Active Customers
  • 180+ Retail Locations
  • 47 Million+ Social Media Engagements
  • 120 Million Unique Annual Visitors

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Plus, when your partner with Good Sam, you’re also partnering with Camping World, Gander, Overton’sRV.com, and Electic World–effectively expanding your campground’s presence and influence with guests.

While Good Sam boasts the most extensive network in the industry, they’re also the most pragmatic solution around. When you sign up your campground with Good Sam, you access an array of resources.

Here are a few of the services you can expect.

Social Media Campaigns

Customized ad campaigns on social media newsfeeds drive brand awareness and increase clicks to your park website.

Featured Ad on Camping World Websites

Appear on Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors dealer pages where new and experienced RV customers search for their next RV.

Google Keyword Search

Good Sam bids on relevant keywords to improve your park’s ranking on Google search results pages.

RV.com Ad Feature

Showcase your campground on RV.com, the go-to digital destination for active RV and outdoor enthusiasts with a digital package that includes RV Magazine’s eNewsletter.

Dedicated Email for Good Sam Parks

Improve your off-season. Send a dedicated email to select consumers in our database with an exclusive offer to Good Sam Members to help fill sites when you need it most.

Print Publications Actual Reach

With an annual publication reach of over 8 million, you reach Good Sam members, new RV owners, and outdoor enthusiasts looking for resorts and campgrounds to visit.

Reservation System

Having the right software solution means having the right reservation system. Fortunately, Good Sam Campground Solutions offers a top-of-the-line booking system with all the features needed to manage reservations. 

Do-It-All Dashboard

Easily manage guest reservations with the drag and drop dashboard. Check-in campers, issue refunds, print parking passes, extend reservations, and add notes onto upcoming bookings—all from one grid.

campground solution

Mobile-Responsive Booking Pages

More than 60% of guests will book a site from their mobile devices. We make sure they can easily book no matter what screen they access.

Interactive Site Map

We create an interactive site map of your campground using a satellite view of your property. When a guest books online, they’ll be able to see your entire park, photos, and amenities at each campsite.

Dynamic Pricing

Increase revenue on popular weekends or create booking minimums during peak season. Dynamic pricing maximizes the revenue of your park.

Flexible Booking Rules

Software solutions include customizable check-in and check-out times, the number of nights available online, and guest options for choosing their site.

Parking Passes

For every reservation, Good Sam creates an automatic parking pass you can print for guests checking into your park.

Create Add-Ons for Online Bookings

Make campsite items like firewood or rentals available for purchase in the online booking process.

Availability Calendar

When a guest can’t book their preferred reservation, an availability calendar allows you to offer them the next best option. This scroll-based calendar enables guests to find the next open date.

Integrated Reporting

With over 20 customizable reports for managers and real-time reports for camp hosts, Good Sam provides a deeper level of business insight.

Dedicated Business Support

Good Sam offers support across standard business hours for parks and weekend support when needed. We recognize that many campgrounds may need assistance on busy weekends, so we constantly monitor email and chat. We also are in the process of implementing dedicated phone support, which will be live in early 2022.

Good Sam Reviews and Testimonials

“Being a Good Sam park definitely helps people find us…We’ve seen more repeat visitors because of the sales of GS memberships.” – Larry J, Orangeland RV Park

“Last year, it would have taken us more than two weeks and three staff members to call back and confirm all of the reservations that came in today.” – Warren V, Athabasca County

“Since we became a Good Sam park, it has almost tripled our revenue. We have waiting lists now.” – Coral Sands Campground

Finding the Right Campground Solution

While plenty of campground software are currently available on the market, none of them come with as many features, support, or reach as Good Sam Campground Solutions. 

From full-channel marketing and advertising offerings to a user-friendly online reservation system, Good Sam helps more parks connect with more guests than anyone else.

Want to get started?

Good Sam Campground Solutions provides several services to give campground owners like yourself the tools needed to run your business on your terms. Whether it’s marketing and advertising, online reservations, or access to a network of over 2 million RVers, Good Sam makes managing a park as easy as possible. If you’re ready to get started, we can help. Request a demo today!

Create a Better Booking Experience

8 Ways to Create a Better Booking Experience for Guests

If you’re a campground operator looking to maximize your business, just fielding reservations might feel like a challenge.

How do you maximize occupancy? Where is the best place to focus your energy? How do you create a better booking experience?

If you want to elevate the online reservation experience for guests, you can take some meaningful, practical steps. Here are eight ways to create a better booking experience for guests.

1. Run ads on Google and Facebook.

First and foremost, you may find that the biggest bang for your buck will likely come from running ads on Google and Facebook.

The average cost to reach 1,000 people in magazine and newspaper ads is between $20 and $32, whereas the same reach by Google AdWords and Facebook will only run you $2.75 and $0.25, respectively.

To give this some more perspective, on average, 28.6 million U.S. citizens read a newspaper; however, there are currently over 100 million Americans on Facebook and at least 246 million unique Google users in the U.S.

Not to mention, you can target the specific audience and region for your ads.

For industry proof, here’s a helpful read about how Camping World had a very successful Facebook ad campaign last year in which they were able to achieve 84 percent more leads.

2. Take online reservations.

Nothing beats online reservations.

Create a Better Booking Experience

Before the pandemic, people made over 148.3 million travel reservations (across multiple industries) annually online. Since then, the online travel industry has grown to nearly $600 billion.

Campgrounds with online reservation systems have had a lot to do with those numbers. Parks like Golden Municipal took 100 percent of their bookings online last year and will continue to do the same in 2021.

The reason? It’s just easier.

For starters, online reservation systems can arrange reservations to maximize your campground, ensuring you don’t end up with awkward one-night openings in your calendar.

You can easily do this yourself by dragging a reservation to a different campsite, like this:

Additionally, interactive calendars, like the one below, allow guests to choose sites based on availability. With remote work allowing everyone’s travel dates to be a little more flexible, this optimizes your calendar by showing available camping dates.

Couple all of this with the fact that online systems lower staffing costs, increase revenue, provide clear reporting, and save you time, and it’s definitely the number one way to boost occupancy at your campground.

3. Have a mobile-friendly website.

Our data shows that mobile users account for 60 percent of our bookings.

Internet use has grown to nearly 300 million users, and at least 69 percent of those users are logging in via a smartphone or mobile device. Also, 75 percent of consumers use their mobile devices to search and visit a nearby business within a day.

Adding to that, 34 percent of consumers will exit a website entirely if a landing page’s content doesn’t load properly on their mobile device. As a result, campgrounds that do not have an easy-to-navigate mobile website will ultimately lose out on many reservations.

If you’re in the market for website design, Good Sam Campground Solutions can add a lot of value to your customer experience almost overnight.

4. Make your pricing clear.

Going hand-in-hand with a great website is clear pricing (or at least precise pricing estimates). Our campgrounds constantly tell us how tedious it is to field phone calls and emails from campers looking for a quote (especially after hours).

Additionally, having an online system with clear pricing and yield management (also known as dynamic pricing) allows you to accommodate peak and shoulder seasons alike. Guests can easily get a quote and make reservations while you’re sleeping.

5. Take good photos of your campground.

Websites and articles with relevant and quality photos lead to 94 percent more views than those without. In fact, 44 percent of potential guests won’t even engage with a site if the content images are grainy or don’t load.

campground photo

We recently sent a Campground Solutions affiliate to take photos of Klahanie Campground in Squamish, BC, and Ephrata RV Park in Central Washington. After the campground owners added the images to their online reservation system, they informed us that the simple addition led to a “massive” conversion of campers booking online.

Even if you’re on a budget or all you have access to is a smartphone, you can still take quality pictures that will increase online engagement. Here’s a list of tips for taking great iPhone photos from iMore.

6. Get lots of reviews.

The reality is that people choose campgrounds based on good reviews.

Ninety-seven percent of consumers use the internet to find local businesses – meaning that what people are saying online carries a lot of weight. So odds are that almost everyone booking a campsite at your park has seen your Google reviews by searching for your business online.

Paying attention to Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor for reviews is certainly worth your time. But to make a bigger splash, park owners should primarily focus on campground review sites like Campendium, Campground Reviews, and The Dyrt.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our article on the review sites campground owners need to watch.

7. Connect with guests.

If you want to create the best booking experience for guests, nothing beats connecting with them directly!

The reality is that email marketing can see a 4300% return on investment (ROI) for your campground, and every dollar spent on email marketing can bring in nearly $45.

When guests book or arrive, get their email and send them announcements for upcoming events, discounts for future stays, or periodic reminders to book their next stay with you. Just make sure you don’t spam them with emails!

8. Give the option to “Stay one more day.” 

There are a number of travelers who are willing to spend a couple of weeks in your neck of the woods under the pretense that they don’t have to hop from campground to campground.

If you have the flexibility or empty sites, why not encourage your overnight guests to stay longer? When campers arrive, let them know that they are welcome to extend their stay an extra night if they’re enjoying their time. Just check their campsite in your reservation system to make sure their same campsite is available first!

Creating a better booking experience.

If you’re a park operator looking to grow your campground, creating an easier and more thoughtful reservation experience will increase occupancy. 

Create a Better Booking Experience
  1. Try out targeted ads through Facebook and Google.
  2. Offer online reservations.
  3. Create a mobile-friendly experience.
  4. Have clearly-listed pricing.
  5. Take photos of your campground.
  6. Collect reviews.
  7. Start building an email list.
  8. Allow guests to extend their stay.

While there’s plenty of trial and error, your park will start seeing substantial growth quickly with the right resources and the right plan.

Want some help managing your campground?

Taking online reservations is the easiest way to offload day-to-day tasks, allowing you to focus on the things that make your park unique. If you’re looking for an easier solution to managing your campground, Good Sam can help. Request a demo today!

campground reservation software

Are There Any Free Campground Reservation Software Systems Available?

While owning a campground could be a very profitable endeavor (worth at least $273k a year), it can certainly come with its own share of expenses.

On average, a campground will run you between $10k and $50k (not including the cost of land); meaning that paying for an expensive booking software isn’t ideal for park owners.

But are there any free campground reservation systems? Well, the short answer is yes – there are a handful of free and relatively inexpensive reservation software solutions out there. But to give some context, here’s a list of options you can find online.

Inexpensive Campground Reservation Software

There are a handful of reservation software solutions out there, and most of them provide online booking at a free or relatively inexpensive rate.

  • Checkfront – $39 a month.
  • ResNexus – Starts at $3 – $16 a month (per room).
  • RoverPass – $2 per booking.
  • Firefly – $2 per booking.
  • Bonfire – $2 per booking (long-term) or $14.50+ (per month)
  • Campspot – $2 per booking.
  • CampLife – Starts at $99 a month + $3.50 per booking.

That being said, most systems are either lacking in features offered, pricing plans, or their reach of customers.

Good Sam Campground Solutions

If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, Good Sam Campground Solutions offers everything park owners need to run their business in-house, at a cheaper rate with more features than anyone else.

Pricing

Pure and simple, Good Sam Campground Solutions is FREE for members and only charges guests a $1 booking fee. For non-members, it’s still only $99 a month, with guests paying a $3 booking fee.

Features Offered

Availability Calendars

When a guest can’t find their preferred reservation due to availability, we offer them the next best option. This scroll calendar allows them to easily find the next open date.

Booking Notes

Add customized notes to each camper reservation and account, easily accessible from the dashboard.

Camp Host Reports

See real-time reports that show who is currently checked into the park and who is leaving.

Cloud-Based

Accessible from anywhere, 24/7, with the ability for your guests to book and for you to earn money while you aren’t physically working.

Create Add-Ons for Online Bookings

Make campsite items like firewood or rentals available for purchase in the online booking process.

Drag-and-Drop Dashboard

Easily manage guest reservations with the drag and drop dashboard. Check-in campers, issue refunds, print parking passes, extend reservations, and add notes onto upcoming bookings—all from one grid.

Dedicated Support

Good Sam offers support across standard business hours for parks as well as weekend support when needed. We recognize that many campgrounds may need us on busy weekends so we constantly monitor email and chat. We also are in the process of implementing dedicated phone support, which will be live by September of 2021.

Dynamic Pricing

Increase revenue on popular weekends or create booking minimums during peak season. Our dynamic pricing allows you to tweak your pricing to maximize the revenue of your park.

Flexible Booking Rules

We built a platform that can handle the many nuances that define your campground. Software solutions include customizable check-in and check-out times, the number of nights that can be booked online, and guest options for choosing their site.

Interactive Site Map

You can create an interactive site map of your campground using a satellite view of your property. When a guest books online, they’ll be able to see your entire park, photos, and amenities at each campsite.

Management Reports

Over 20 customizable reports that help you track daily, weekly, and monthly revenue.

Marketing Packages

All inclusive access to our active Good Sam members assisting your Campground to reach more users more efficiently.

Mobile-responsive Booking

More than 60 percent of guests will book a site from their mobile devices. We make sure they can easily book no matter what screen they access from.

Online Reservations

Our reservation software will help you every step of the way from reservation to check-in.

Parking Passes

For every reservation, we create an automatic parking pass that you can print when your guests are checking into your park.

Point of Sale (POS)

Point of Sale (POS) system where a customer can pay for reservations online and receipts will be generated in print or electronically.

Quickbooks Integration

For campgrounds using Quickbooks Online, we have an automatic integration to sync your data in real time – making bookkeeping for your park far easier.

Web Builder

Create a professional website with our website builder. Choose a customizable template and add the features you need.

Good Sam Network

For the last 55 years, Good Sam has partnered with campground owners to grow their business through our integrated marketing strategies.

Whether it’s our circulation of 26 million annual publications, our 40 million social media engagements, or our 120 million unique online visitors, we’ll give your campground the traffic it needs to thrive.

Plus, with over 7 million active customers and Good Sam members, Campground Solutions will connect your park with more RVers than anyone else.

Finding the Right Software at the Best Price

While most online reservation systems come with decent reviews, at the end of the day, Good Sam Campground Solution is a free campground reservation system with more features and guaranteed reservations for park operators.

Want to get started?

Good Sam Campground Solutions provides several services to give campground owners like yourself the tools needed to run your business on your terms. Whether it’s marketing and advertising, online reservations, or access to a network of over 2 million RVers, Good Sam makes managing a park as easy as possible. If you’re ready to get started we can help! Request a demo today.

RV Park Reservation Software

Finding the Right RV Park Reservation Software for Your Campground

Your campground needs an online reservation software.

Over 148.3 million online travel reservations were made in 2019 alone. By the end of 2020 the online travel industry was estimated to be worth over $800 billion; and with more people camping as a result of the pandemic, this number is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

With so many people traveling, there are plenty of online reservation softwares for campground owners; but it can also be a challenge finding the right one for your business.

What features does your campground need out of a reservation software? What should you expect to pay for an online booking system? How much support will a campground software provide?

To help navigate what’s out there, here are three considerations for finding the right RV park reservation software for your campground.

Features.

Obviously, every campground is different, and not every park requires the same tools.

Maybe your campground has specific requirements for pricing around holidays and peak seasons. Maybe you need a service that can bundle your accounting and point of sale. Maybe you just need a user-friendly system without a learning curve for your employees.

Regardless of what your campground needs, here are a few features to consider.

Online reservations.

Online booking systems just make life easier, for you and your guests.

Services like Good Sam’s Campground Solutions can automate and handle all of your reservations, giving you back (literally) weeks of your year spent on fielding phone calls and emails. Not to mention, they’ll market your campground for you, bringing in even more online traffic, and guaranteeing higher occupancy.

Furthermore, online reservations allow for last-minute reservations (as in the day or week-of) which has brought in an additional 5 percent to 7 percent annually for some of our campgrounds; and in some cases, could even add up to 44 percent of a park’s business.

Drag and drop dashboard.

A drag and drop dashboard gives you the ability to easily move guests around on a reservation grid. You can check in campers, print parking passes, issue refunds, and add individualized notes to camper profiles.

A fully interactive system can cut down on the time it takes to train employees and work campers, while making it easier to navigate your reservations week to week.

Dynamic pricing.

A flexible pricing system allows you to create booking minimums during peak seasons, as well as increase revenue on popular weekends. Dynamic pricing gives you the autonomy to adjust pricing based on your park’s business model, and ensures maximum profit.

Reporting and integrations.

Ideally, a good reservation system will be a one-stop-shop for everything you need to run your business – including reporting and integrations.

Whether it’s check-ins, cancellations, inventory, or any other feature of your business, you need daily reporting to show you how your park is performing over time. Plus, life is much simpler when your system integrates directly with other tools like Quickbooks, or third party channel partners like Go RVing Canada.

Point of sale (POS).

If you have a camp store or online inventory, having a POS will make things easier on you and your customer.

A cloud-based POS system can run off of an iPad or smart tablet device, and integrates directly with your accounting and reporting, keeping all of your financials in one place.

For a decent POS, you can expect to pay between $79 and $150 a month.

Pricing.

Similar to feature offerings, campground booking softwares can offer a number of different pricing models; so it’s important to think through what makes the most sense for your business.

Do you want a free system that charges guests a convenience fee? Do you want a system that takes a commission out of your bookings? Do you want a hybrid pricing plan with both?

To give you a better idea of what to expect, here are three different pricing models you’ll come across when looking for a system for RV park reservations.

Booking-based model.

Like most online storefronts, reservation softwares generally make a large chunk of their money off of online booking (or convenience) fees. You’ll also find some negotiation in pricing between booking fees and monthly (or yearly) rates.

At the end of the day, these models tend to work in the park operator’s favor, allowing them to pocket most of the revenue. For instance, Good Sam parks can get started for free (with guests only paying $1 per reservation), and non-members can use the platform for $99 a month (with guests paying $3 per reservation).

The advantage of this model is complete autonomy and control for park owners who just want a  little help running their business.

Agency model.

Some reservation systems will, however, operate more like an online travel agency (OTA).

In this model they’ll give you their platform for next-to-nothing as a “dangling carrot,” but then they’ll outrank your campground’s listing on Google to control where the reservations are coming from.

This means that even though you could make your own bookings and claim most (if not all) of the profit, they’ll likely still bring in most of your reservations and charge a commission on anything they send your way.

Now, this can be beneficial for campgrounds looking to outsource the headache of maximizing their reservations; however, it will likely cost you 10-30 percent of your annual reservations.

Merchant model.

A merchant model is almost an agency model in reverse, where the OTA receives inventory (sites) from your campground at a discounted rate, and then books guests at a marked-up rate.

With a merchant model, the OTA will charge guests on the front end, and then give you the discounted rate, while they pocket the difference. They will also foot the bill on credit card fees, and show up on a statement (instead of your park).

Again, this offloads a lot of the heavy lifting for collecting reservations, but it will definitely cut into your profits.

Support.

A good reservation software should also come with a competent support staff that can manage any training and troubleshooting your park needs.

When you’re looking for a team to work with at your campground, be sure to ask the right questions.

  • Do they provide hands-on support?
  • Does their team work alongside yours to create maps, add sites, or walk you through your user accounts?
  • How quickly do they work to get your park setup with a launch date?
  • Can they get your park up and running in a week?
  • How long does it take them to jump on a problem to troubleshoot a bug in the system?
  • Do they provide 24/7 assistance?
  • Are they friendly and easy to work with?

Finding the right RV park reservation software.

With more people booking online, and with more reservation services than ever, there’s certainly one that will work for your campground.

RV Park Reservation Software

As you consider the best option, make it a point to think through:

  1. What features do they offer?
  2. What does their pricing model entail?
  3. How much support do they provide?

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