Calculating a monthly campground rate

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

glorybee

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Posts
3
Hi folks,  Would appreciate a little feedback on an issue which my husband and I found very troubling.  What,  if any,  is the industry standard for calculating monthly charges? 

Here is what happed.....In January of this year we visited a lovely campground/rv park in the Ocala Forest.  We liked it so much we asked if we could book a month reservation beginning February 19.  The published monthly rate is $315/month which we paid in advance.  We left for three weeks for prior reservations and encountered a mechanical problem which needed attention.  I called the park office on Feb. 19 to tell them we wouldn't be there until Feb. 20 but would arrive as soon as the repairs were complete.  Upon arrival we discovered the park had rented our site to someone else the night before and they were still there at 3:30 p.m.  Not a huge problem but an inconvenience.

So here's the issue.....when we prepared to leave the morning of March 22 the park owner told us we owed an additional two days park rental plus the electric which we were aware of.  We disagreed with the rental charge on the basis that we had prepaid for 31 nights at $315/month and stayed 30 nights (they got paid twice for the first night because they rented our prepaid site to someone else).  Their reasoning was that because we came in the middle of February on the 20 and left on the 22 of March, we owed two extra days rent (Feb. 29 & 30!).  Since when do campgrounds charge for phantom days (Feb. 29 and 30)? This is the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to us.  We have been camping for over thirty years and have never run into a situation like this.  Camping is always charged on a nightly basis unless you are staying seasonally month to month beginning with the first day of the month.   

Are we losing our minds?    Thanks

 

Bob Buchanan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Hello Glorybee:

>> Would appreciate a little feedback on an issue which my husband and I found very troubling.? What,? if any,? is the industry standard for calculating monthly charges??
====
My main business is that of developing and marketing an RV park or Campground reservation software system. For the most part, monthly charge methodology is pretty much the same. It is also true that some parks do things in various weird ways. My software will accommodate the weird stuff, but treats a month as a month -- not 31 days. Very few parks would do it otherwise.

>> Here is what happed.....In January of this year we visited a lovely campground/RV park in the Ocala Forest.? We liked it so much we asked if we could book a month reservation beginning February 19.? The published monthly rate is $315/month which we paid in advance.? We left for three weeks for prior reservations and encountered a mechanical problem which needed attention.? I called the park office on Feb. 19 to tell them we wouldn't be there until Feb. 20 but would arrive as soon as the repairs were complete.? Upon arrival we discovered the park had rented our site to someone else the night before and they were still there at 3:30 p.m.? Not a huge problem but an inconvenience.
====
When you reserve or rent a "Month", the number of days will vary according what month your rent. But again, you are renting a Month, not the number of days in that month. If you only rent February, some parks will compensate for that -- but for the most part, they don't.

A monthly rate can start on any day of the month -- not necessarily the 1st. Some owner's will prorate the 1st month from the day you enter the park to the 1st of the next month so billing will always be on the 1st. Other parks like income to pay bills to be scattered during month, so monthly billing is not on the 1st in those parks. In such a park, if you enter on the 20th "of any month", your rent is due beginning the 20th of the following month. Your last night of paid rental would have been the night of the 19th. So unless there was some kind of written agreement to the contrary, your monthly rental ran from 2/20 to 3/19 -- however many days that was. You were not buying 31 days -- you were buying a month.

>> So here's the issue.....when we prepared to leave the morning of March 22 the park owner told us we owed an additional two days park rental plus the electric which we were aware of.? We disagreed with the rental charge on the basis that we had prepaid for 31 nights at $315/month and stayed 30 nights (they got paid twice for the first night because they rented our prepaid site to someone else).? Their reasoning was that because we came in the middle of February on the 20 and left on the 22 of March, we owed two extra days rent (Feb. 29 & 30!).? Since when do campgrounds charge for phantom days (Feb. 29 and 30)? This is the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to us.? We have been camping for over thirty years and have never run into a situation like this.? Camping is always charged on a nightly basis unless you are staying seasonally month to month beginning with the first day of the month.? ?
====
Actually, they didn't rent that 1st night twice. Your 1st night of rental was the 20th. They rented (as they should if the site is available) the site to someone on the night of the 19th. You say that party overstayed by several hours into your rental of the night of the 20th, however, the night of the 19th was rented only once to the other RVer.

As mentioned above, your last night of "monthly" rental was the 19th of March, so you owed for 2 extra days for the 20th and 21st of March, not for Feb. 29 & 30.

Electric charges are another issue and handled differently by different parks. Sounds like you were not questioning the way they charged for electric. If you have questions on that, let me know.

Some parks will prorate the monthly "daily rate" to those extra days. My system does that automatically if asked to. Other parks hit you for the posted "daily rate" for those extra days. That just happened to me in Austin. Great monthly rate that included electric-- but then I got hit for a high daily rate for the 3 extra days I stayed.

Incidentally, in that park, I arrived on 2/20 -- and my rental was up on 3/19. Had I arrived on 3/20, my rent would have been up on 4/19 (and the monthly rate would have been the same).
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
75,871
Location
Looking to buy a new home
We've worked in a number of campgrounds and they have measured a "month" as either a fixed 30 consecutive days regardless of start date or a calendar month, e.g. from the 20th to the 20th.  A week, however, was always seven consecutive days.  In one park that used the 30 day method, people always complained because it was 30 days and not date to date, which in the 31 day summer months typically ended up costing them an extra day. So the arithmetic can work either way, depending on the time of year.

I don't know of any industry standard "month" for campgrounds or for hotels & motels for that matter. I've made long term hotel stays too and found both methods in use.  The agreement is whatever you sign up for, so its always wise to confirm up front exactlly what the departure date will be.
 

glorybee

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Posts
3
Would like to express my appreciation for your detailed explanation of the campground/rv reservation system and thought processes involved.  It now makes much more sense to me than the owner repeating "You came on the 20th, and you left on the 22nd!".  Had we been given a more articulate explanation, we could have avoided the confrontation which occurred as a result of the misunderstanding of the charges.  Thank you
 

JGarrick

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Posts
90
glorybee said:
Had we been given a more articulate explanation, we could have avoided the confrontation which occurred as a result of the misunderstanding of the charges.  Thank you

Doesn't the campground owner have some responsibility to make the charges clear to their customers? Policies can vary from one place to the next, but they know their own policy fully. If they didn't explain it, then they should, at a minimum, share the blame (and the cost) of the misunderstanding. Unless there was a written agreement, I see no reason to consider their opinion of what constitues a month as any more valid than yours.
 

glorybee

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Posts
3
In hindsight, I think you are absolutely right.  At the time of making the reservation for a month, we filled out a form (which we signed) indicating our stay would be Feb. 19 to March 21 (31 nights) and the owner charged us and we paid $315.00 in advance.  We assumed that was the total for the days listed.  She should have said something to us at the time we made the reservation and we  could have adjusted our departure date if she intended to charge for extra days.  Thanks
 
Top Bottom