By Chuck Woodbury
If I owned an RV park I would likely replace some of my RV sites with cabins. I’d make more money that way: renting a cabin is more profitable than renting an RV site. An RV park is a business, just like any other, and the idea is to make money.
Well, sad to say for you and me, that’s exactly what’s happening: As cabins appear, RV sites disappear. And I’m not just talking about one-room cabins with a couple of bunks and a table, but fancy lodge-type accommodations you’d except to find at a luxury retreat. We’re talking heating and air conditioning, queen and king beds, full-blown kitchens, big screen TVs and fancy bathrooms. And none of it’s on wheels like the accommodations you and I travel with.
This increase in cabins and decrease in RV sites is happening at the same time that about 1,000 new RVs are being sold each day. It’s hard enough to find an available campground already, so watching one campsite after another give way to a cabin is not a welcome sight to me, and I suspect to you.
Look at the two images I’ve posted. These both came to me in emails the same day— one from KOA’s corporate office, the other from a KOA park in Bar Harbor, Maine. Look at the pictures: I’m telling you, the scenes do not look much like camping to me (of course, to be honest, camping in a 40-foot, $400,000 motorhome isn’t much like camping either).
Still, as an RVer, I’m not happy about seeing campsites disappear at the same time more RVers are competing with me for existing sites. Nor am I happy seeing the motel crowd join me in the campground. I wish the RV industry would look at this situation, and realize there will come a time when people will just stop buying RVs because they will be told “good luck finding a place to stay” by RVers who have been frustrated one too many times having to make reservations six months in advance to get a nice spot.
I wish I had a solution beyond recognizing that more campsites are needed. Alas, I’m just one guy who has recognized that we have a problem. I’ll keep searching for answers and do my best to prompt some action by people in the industry who, like me, see that something must be done to make room for you and me, and all the new RVers joining our ranks in years ahead. And I’m not talking about more parking space at Wal-Mart. That’s not camping!