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Author Topic: SHRINKING middle class + camper world  (Read 3616 times)


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SHRINKING middle class + camper world
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:59:57 PM »
Are facilities catering to small campers ( and 15' trailers )... such as campgrounds + RV parks... growing or disappearing, as the middle class gets pushed down into poverty?

What have you seen wrt facilities growing or shrinking?  Not speculation...actual eyeballing. 
Thank you,
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 06:03:04 PM by bilbo777 »


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Re: SHRINKING middle class + camper world
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 12:38:03 PM »
Most of our older SPs and USFS campground around the PNW were built back when Truck Campers were the main RV of choice in the area, and most are still sized as such. 

RV Parks, on the other hand, have begun to cater more to the deep pocket, big rig crowd a little more with rates that match. 


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Re: SHRINKING middle class + camper world
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 02:27:08 PM »
For the last five years we have spent 250+ nights per year at a variety of commercial, state and federal campgrounds/parks. Our impression is that changes have tended to be towards either providing more amenities (full hook ups in state parks, upgrades to 50 Amp electric) and seeking to attract a customer base willing to pay higher prices for upgraded facilities, or changing from transient to permanent or seasonal clientele to guarantee cash flow. We have seen no activity towards specialization in smaller rvs.


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Re: SHRINKING middle class + camper world
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 04:11:31 PM »

I think this varies regionally.

In Minnesota, the state-run campgrounds and the private campgrounds are raising rates while the facilities, overall, deteriorate.  The state parks have budget problems and are trying to run the entire park based on campground revenue, in many cases.  Private campgrounds are unable to expand and new private campgrounds are unable to be built economically because compliance costs for the water and sewer system have become untenable under the current regulations.

What little expansion has occurred has taken place at county and regional parks, with Bunker Hills regional park and Lebanon Hills regional park, on opposite ends of the Minneapolis area, being good examples.  Each of these facilities has multiple campground loops, with some laid out for big class As and other large rigs, and some intended for the smaller rig.  Compared to prevailing rates 10 years ago, however, rates are high -- typically around $25 a night, for either type of site.

I have seen a handful of municipal and local low-cost or free campgrounds, generally without hookups, that mostly cater to small rigs.

The state parks nearly all are set up with a good share of smaller non-electric sites intended for tent campers and people with smaller rigs.

So I guess, in Minnesota, the mix isn't really changing that much, except that what little new campground construction is taking place includes more full-hookup 50A sites for big rigs than used to be the case.

I see a lot of people out in tents and pop-ups.

2004 Suburban 2500 4wd 8.1 / 2010 Airstream Classic 30' /
1997 K2500 regular cab long bed pickup / 1971 Cayo C-11


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Summary- small rigs not losing sites, tho price hikes....
Most of changes are
Just gains for big rigs, via existing sites upgraded

Big thanks to Redneck,

Odie and


For their detailed thoughtful replies!
(Must be retired sociology profs)

Any others?


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Re: SHRINKING middle class + camper world
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 10:38:24 AM »
Most Georgia State Parks have been upgrading to 50 amp, larger sites, and installing some sewage sites over the last few years.
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