Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I can't see this working...

I read an article the other day that Ontario Provincial Parks are experimenting with a plan to bring people RV'ing who don't own an RV.

Yes, they are renting out "trailer equipped" campsites.

Why is it that government organizations think that they have to get involved in hairbrained schemes like this? They overpay unionized employees and come up with oddball ideas like this and then they wonder why they aren't financially self sufficient.

So they've bought 15 camper trailers. Fully equipped, with add a rooms. What would the initial outlay be? Maybe they got a deal (highly unlikely...) and paid out $20k a piece. So an investment of $300k.


And then let's say they last for 5 years (any more than that is also highly unlikely!) so they need $4,000 a year in revenue in order to cover their initial costs. And that's just to cover their initial cost. Let's not forget about maintenance, repairs, and cleaning. ( I think they forgot about these things.)

So then they need to figure out how much to charge for them.

What figure did they come up with?

$141.25 per night!

Yep, they figure they're going to be able to rent these suckers out for $125 per night, plus Ontario's ridiculous taxes.

I honestly wonder how many non RV'ers are going to pay that kind of money to go camping. My guess is...not many!

So I checked out reservations. Sure enough, they are available for this upcoming weekend. Not booked. As in...sitting empty.

It might be a great idea, if the price was right. Maybe, just maybe, at $75 a night they might get enough revenue to cover their costs. But I think that at $141.25 per night, they'll sit empty most of the time.

Speaking of camping, here's an interesting looking book that I came across. For those of you with Kindle e-readers, you can buy it for only $2.85...

A history of the RV industry in America featuring biographical sketches of some of the visionaries who created the industry in the first half of the 20th century. 


Written by Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana.


It includes the stories of inventors and manufacturers as well as retailers and campground operators all of whom played vital parts in the development of today's active RV lifestyle. It also describes the evolution of each individual style of recreational vehicle from tent trailers and truck campers through travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers and motor homes big and small.

29 comments:

  1. They have some yurt here in Ontario and are about $130.00 a night and are booked most of the time. especially in the off season.

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    1. A yurt might make more sense. I would think they would have a much longer life expectancy, with cheaper initial costs.

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  2. I know some of the private campgrounds in Wisconsin have trailers for rent, but don't know the cost. Most KOAs have single room cabins with no bathroom or kitchen for rent at a higher rate than those campers, and they seem to do a booming business renting those cabins. I does sound pricey, but still much cheaper than renting an RV and driving it somewhere yourself. Maybe it will work.

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    1. You are correct on the KOA's having the cabins with no bathroom or kitchen for rent that is as high or higher than these trailers so who knows maybe there are enough people out there to rent them. I guess time will tell.

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  3. One of the reasons for RVing, for me, has been the ability to travel around North America for substantially less than it would cost to do the same in a more conventional way - airplanes, hotels, restaurants, rental cars . . . or, even my own car and hotels, restaurants, etc.
    I checked out RV rentals before I bought my first RV - Yikes! - too expensive for anything over a week or so. I guess there is a market (otherwise business propositions would falter) but some of the ideas seem hair brained to me, too.
    I have been checking into the potentiality of building a tiny house for when I want to have a kind of home base. So far, I'm still not even seriously looking into that. I have a sticks and mortar house that I have renters in and that seems like the best solution for me right now - unless, God forbid, they decided to move out all of a sudden.
    I've also read that people are building modular houses and placing them in RV parks that have spots for rent for such 'movable type structures.' Hmmm.

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    1. Yes, but these trailers are just stationary, which is totally different from renting and RV and traveling around. It would almost be as cheap to do that and then you could see more of the country than it would be to rent one of these. The only difference would be then you would have to pay for gas as well and somewhere to stay for the night.

      I guess that there will probably be enough city slickers who would spend the money and rent one of these but it certainly would be too much for us.

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  4. The one thing that an RV has over a yurt or even a KOA Kamping Kabin: private bathroom. And you can bet that for $141/night it will be expected to be spotless. Who will be responsible for such additional daily cleaning? People like Kevin and Ruth. Good thing it's in Ontario and not Saskatchewan!

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    1. You are correct on that Dugg, not only does it have it's own bathroom but also a kitchen. I doubt that it would have daily cleaning, even the KOA Kabins, Kottages and Lodges don't have daily cleaning. Once the people in the unit leave it would then be cleaned before the next party move in, at least that is the way it was/is at the KOA's and I had to clean those which weren't always in rough shape.

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  5. BTW that RV e-book is available to anyone who has the Kindle APP---not just the device. The free app is available on any android tablet or phone, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC/tablet/phone, even a BlackBerry.

    I was going to buy this particular e-book for my Nexus 7, but then I read a review that said that all the illustrations had been tossed for the e-version. Bad call, Amazon.

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    1. Thanks for the additional info Dugg!

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  6. My gosh tht is insane. On top of that price, people would need to but food. Might as well stay in a hotel and have someone else clean your room.

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    1. That is insane, at least to us. Mind you, if you stayed in a hotel/motel then you would also have to buy your dinner as well as breakfast and lunch, which would be more expensive than just buying the food to prepare the meals yourself.

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  7. Imagine cleaning an rv that was used for an overnight or weekend stay? We're not talking hotel room here. Maybe it will sell but not to me, I like cheap rent.

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    1. I am glad that it won't be me cleaning it. Especially when I see how much toilet paper people use here at the campground and that is in a regular toilet, I would hate to think what the black water tank would be like, I can see lots of issues there.

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    2. You're right. I didn't even think about that as we don't put paper down ours. That idea would never fly unless you took out the tanks and made it direct to sewage which makes sense, I guess.

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  8. I think if I'm going to sleep in a bed that's not mine, for that price, or maybe even a little more, I can get a nice hotel room.
    Hair brained scheme. I'd be surprised if it works, but City Folk be dumb, so they just might go for it.

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    1. Totally agree with you Bob, but then people won't get that "camping" experience!

      Kevin will have to keep his eye on it and see how often they will get rented out.

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  9. Hey, the new Ontario (Lib) Government promised to create jobs. Here they come! ;)

    I cannot see myself booking one of these, specially at that price!

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    1. Nope, we certainly wouldn't be booking ourselves into any and definitely not at those prices.

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  10. In Europe mamy campgrounds offer "mobile home" units with all the mod cons. They are espacially designed for the purpose and get stored for the winter. It's enormously successfull and the price varies on the age of the unit. We stayed in one outside of Paris. Simply put, it was marveilleux!

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    1. I think the "mobile home" experience in Europe would be totally different for the "travel trailer" experience that they have set up for in the provincial parks. The ones they have set up in Europe seem to have more of a resort setting to them with activities and swimming pool and gatherings. Who knows maybe it will work out for them, time will tell.

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  11. First I apologise in advance if this post comes up twice, as I tried to do it off of my tablet, and for some reason it doesn't appear to have worked. So...
    Thought I should chime in with a different perspective than most.
    Consider today's average working couple with two kids, who want to experience the camping / RVing lifestyle during their annual two week vacation. 1.) Cost of trailer per Kevin is $20,000. For this exercise we won't add taxes, as they would be there for rent or purchase, the cost of owning a vehicle to tow a trailer this size, or insurance maintenance etc. (Hey, with this option, they could drive to the Provincial park in their Toyota Prius at 40 MPG.) 2.) So we divide $20,000 by $125 per night = 160 nights = 22 weeks = 11+ years of two week vacations, with no capital outlay, worry of where and how to store the RV for the remaining 50 weeks of the year, insurance etc.3.) Take it even further, and consider that if you own your RV, and want to stay in a Provincial park, you would probably pay $30 per night anyway. So, again consider the math. $30 X 160 nights = $4800 you would pay anyway for the privilege, even if you owned your own RV. Cuts the real additional cost to only $95 per night.
    My conclusion, a family of four can experience RVing and the outdoors at its best, where they sleep comfortably, can cook their own meals, have their own bathroom, and can do all of this for $125 plus taxes per night.......seems financially responsible to me.
    Doug B

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    1. Perhaps so, but my point was that it's not financially responsible of the park. I can't see how they're going to get a positive ROI.

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    2. What if we fully booked them for the months of Jul & August, and only 1 week in June & September? 10 weeks total = 70 days X $125 per day = $8750 X 5 years = $43,750.Looks to me like they could easily break even, including maintenance and cleaning.
      Hey how about a government program that breaks even, while providing and opportunity for people from the city to experience the great outdoors.
      My opinion only, but I think it's worth a shot!!!
      DB

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    3. Well so far, it's not happening. If you check the reservation system, they're not even booked on weekends, let alone during the week. In fact, if we check the availability calendar of the three units at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, we see that out of the possible 42 nights of the next two weeks, they have 9 nights reserved. Out of your possible 10 weeks, I see perhaps 20 days x 125 per day = $2,500 x 5 years = $12,500 and that doesn't even include the labor to clean them.

      I would suggest that they figure out why the regular camping spots are hardly being used in those parks either. Again, the availability suggests that the park is virtually empty.

      I am all for high fees in parks where supply and demand dictate it. But to have empty sites and still have high fees...makes no sense to me.

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    4. I guess I'm a glass half full kind of guy!?!?

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    5. Yeah, but the government's glass is empty. They keep filling it up again, but apparently there's a hole in the bottom!

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