Pay as you "go"??

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SLOweather

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I realize that I've been out of the ol' RV/camping loop for a while, but this one was new to me.

At Col. Allensworth St. Historic Park in California this week I saw my first self-pay credit card solar powered dump station.

Sorry, didn't get the solar panels in the picture.

Clearly installed and run by a concessionaire, swipe your card for $10, the lid lock is released for one minute to stick your hose in, and, apparently, after 15 minutes, if the lid is still open, an alarm sounds.

That's some pricey poop. I elected to bring our waste home, but I did see 2 Sprinter based rigs use it.
 

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scottydl

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Yikes... I hope that doesn't become the norm at campgrounds. It's like the air compressors at gas stations (for filling car tires) that you have to pay for. No thanks!
 

Gizmo100

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I guess I'm missing something....I had to pay $10 to dump my black tank twice on our southwest trip.

Although I was able to dump one other time for free at a Texas rest stop.
 

Larry N.

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scottydl said:
Yikes... I hope that doesn't become the norm at campgrounds. It's like the air compressors at gas stations (for filling car tires) that you have to pay for. No thanks!
I recall folks I knew who were working at gas stations (I was much younger then, of course) complaining about "WPA," that is, folks who stopped at the station just for water, for air, or for the rest rooms, not buying anything at all. It apparently was extremely common for that to happen, to the point they eventually started charging.
 

8Muddypaws

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In California $10 is the lowest we’ve seen for a number of years. 

California, where the governor creates new taxes that we’ve already voted down.
 

Isaac-1

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And to think there is a free public dump station at the city park just a mile from house here in Louisiana.
 

John From Detroit

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I was going to say that "pay as you go" was a line first coined by the Nick-O-Lock company (Makers of the famous toilet door coin operated lock and the company responsible for the joke Here I sit broken hearted paid a dime and only farted). 

But I see this is actually what this thread is about. 
 

UTTransplant

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I would actually not mind that at all. Our local county parks charge $10 for dumping if you aren?t camping, and we have paid that happily after a week at a no-hookup place. It is on the honor system, but I would have no problem with an automated system. Even our big tanks don?t take more than 15 minutes.
 

lynnmor

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I went to the website of the campground in question.  Couldn't find prices, make reservations or anything worthwhile.  Maybe they should put that ten bucks towards building a website that makes sense.  Yes, I followed thru to the reserve site.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm generally in favor of user fees for optional services, i.e. you pay for the services you use and DON'T pay for those you do not use.  Whether a dump station falls in the optional category probably depends on the location. If in a park that has no sites with sewer hook-ups, nearly everyone needs access to a dump station so it makes sense to price it into the daily rate. But if many visitors don't need a dump station, that a fee-based approach seems appropriate. Those that do need it pay.
 

Chakara

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I agree Gary.  Electricity falls into this category as well.  Meter me and I'll pay for what I use.  I saved money by purchasing a "weekly metered rate" for the site.  Stayed there 4 nights (cold nights, lots of furnace).  Had the electric hooked up for TV and microwave, with the converter unplugged (batteries and solar for everything else).  Total electric bill you ask.....  $0.38

Save about $20 over what the 4 nights un-metered would have cost. 

This park is in the heat of the desert in southern NM.  I'm sure when a big 3 AC unit pulls in with 120 degree's outside the metered options suddenly makes since :)

-Kyle
 

Isaac-1

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Gary, perhaps, but how much does it really cost to operate that dump station?  Does it justify $10 per use, or is the incremental cost closer to 10 cents?  Now if it is in a remote location not connected to a sewer system, etc. I can see the charge being high, but even then $10 seems high.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Most parks have a septic system, and a large septic system is expensive to install (think $20k) and maintain. I know that well, since for several years I was often the guy doing the maintaining. Dump stations get trashed regularly too - people dump in all kinds of stuff, spill crap everywhere, break hoses, etc. Yeah, YOU don't do that, but somebody does.

I have no idea if that $10 fee is reasonable for that particular place, but I'm pretty sure it would be reasonable for a place like Cabel's or Flying J that is offering it strictly as an extra service.
 

Isaac-1

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Gary, I understand that such things are not cheap, though even if we assume the cost at $40,000 to install the septic and dump station, that is still payback in 4,000 uses, at 10 uses per day at $10 each that is about  payback in 400 days so a bit over a year, realistically lets assume lighter use than this accounting for an off season and some operating cost electricity, etc. so maybe 2 years?    Either that or it sits there unused due to the cost and payback is in 20 years with less than 1 person using it per day.
 

UTTransplant

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There is a truck stop about 20 miles south of our house with a dump station with a free dump station. We use it sometimes when the line at the county park is too long (not full hookups). They have to physically lock it with a key because really bad chemicals were being introduced into the local sewer system, beginning right after the truck stop opened. Diesel oil, transmission fluids, and other such stuff was being dumped. The sewer district said ?lock it or close it?. Makes sense to me.
 

John From Detroit

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UTTransplant said:
The sewer district said ?lock it or close it?. Makes sense to me.

In another thread I mentioned that rest stops in several states used to have dump stations...... What you cites plus bolts and other metal stuff being dumped down the pipe causeing broken lift pumps... Vandals and idiots may well be teh death of us all. one in particular but I won't say who.
 

Ernie n Tara

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RV parks are entitled go a profit on any service they provide. It takes time and $ to provide a dump station and administer it. Ten dollars sounds cheap to me.

Ernie
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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that is still payback in 4,000 uses, at 10 uses per day at $10 each that is about  payback in 400 days so a bit over a year, realistically lets assume lighter use than this accounting for an off season and some operating cost electricity, etc. so maybe 2 years?
Maybe. That's why I said it depends on the situation where it is located.  If it gets a few uses on weekends and not much at other times, it might take years to break even, let alone profit (it appears to be a concession).  If it averages 10 uses per week year around, the return on investment picture is much different.
 

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