A Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) is a business that provides a facility where people with recreational vehicles can stay overnight, or longer, in allotted spaces known as “sites” or “campsites”. The campgrounds and RV parks industry primarily operates recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, as well as recreational and vacation camps.

The industry also includes trailer and caravan parks and wilderness camps. Basically, players in this industry take care of outdoor enthusiasts and also provide access to facilities such as washrooms, laundry rooms, recreation halls and playgrounds et al.

A close watch over the Campgrounds and RV Parks industry shows that the industry has enjoyed stable growth in recent time. The industry is largely driven by travel – related trends as trips to campgrounds and RV parks are viewed as cost-efficient alternatives to traditional vacations.

Statistics have it that in the United States of America alone, the market size of the campground & RV park sector was estimated to be around 5.48 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, down from the previous year’s size of 7.88 billion U.S. dollars. Please note that currently, there are over 13,000 privately owned RV parks and over 1,600 state parks that cater to RVers in the USA.

Steps on How to Start an RV Park Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering starting a recreational vehicle park business, you would need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, give you reliable information of what your potential market will be looking out for from a recreational vehicle park, and also help you operate your recreational vehicle park business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for Recreational Vehicle Park Business?
  • Recreational vehicle owner
  • Campers

The demographic and psychographics composition of those who need the services of an RV park facility is not restricted to adults who love outdoor activities and camping but extends to children and families also. There is a wide range of clientele who visit and patronize RV parks for different purposes.

So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics of your RV park facility business, then you should make it far reaching to include households and families, schools, churches and religious centers, sport clubs, corporate organizations, travelers and tourists.

b. Is Recreational Vehicle Park Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the recreational vehicle park business is profitable. Available data shows that an average recreational vehicle park can make around $240,000 (USD) and above per year gross.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the recreational vehicle park business. But on the other hand, some RV park facilities may decide to major in some key areas such as;

  • Operating campgrounds
  • Operating RV parks
  • Operating overnight recreational camps
  • Operating travel trailer and caravan campsites
  • Operating wilderness camps
  • Other related facility operation
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Anchor Down RV Resort
  • All About Relaxing RV Park
  • Bandon Wayside Motel + RV
  • Blake Ranch RV Park & Horse Motel
  • Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc.
  • Sun Communities Inc.
  • Kampgrounds of America Inc.
  • Mountain Home RV Park
  • Dark Sky RV Campground
  • Paso Robles RV Ranch & Campground
  • Seven Feathers RV Resort
  • Pine Near RV Park
  • Welcome Station RV Park
  • Red Barn RV Park
  • Wanderlust Crossings RV Park
  • Elwha Dam R.V. Park
  • Emerald Beach RV Park
  • French Quarter RV Resort
  • Lake George RV Park
  • Ouray RV Park & Cabins.

It is important to state that no establishment has a lion share of the available market in this industry. However, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.

e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Recreational Vehicle Park Business?

Yes, and zoning laws require recreational vehicle park operators to follow specific rules regulations, including some that apply only to players in the industry. Please note that in many communities, zoning laws require recreational vehicle park facilities to apply for a permit from the city.

This application process allows the city’s zoning department to determine whether the recreational vehicle facility meets the zoning rules for the community. Permits also ensure that all recreational vehicle facilities are properly licensed with the county or state agencies.

f. Is There a Franchise for Recreational Vehicle Park Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for recreational vehicle parks, and here are some of them;

  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
  • Kampgrounds of America Inc.
g. What Do You Need to Start Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Well-Equipped and Secured Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park)
  • Insurance
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Operational Capital (For Ongoing Expenses)
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

If you are considering starting your own RV park facility business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

RV Park Business Name ideas
  • Green Network© RV Park, Inc.
  • Next Level® RV Park, LLC
  • Future Solutions® RV Park, Inc.
  • Tree Land® RV Park, Inc.
  • Bob King™ RV Park, Inc.
  • Lush Green™ RV Park, LLC.
  • Nile Division© RV Park, LLC
  • Mount Camel® RV Park, Inc.
  • Sony Star© RV Park, Inc.
  • Move Ahead© RV Park, Inc.
  • Dray Danton® RV Park, LLC
  • Park House® RV Park, LLC
  • Latitude Connect™ RV Park, LLC
  • First Port© RV Park, Inc.
  • Pantex Chap® RV Park, Inc.
  • Power House™ RV Park, Inc.
  • Speed Link™ RV Park, Inc.
  • Laneways Best© RV Park, Inc.
  • Fresh Nest® RV Park, Inc.
  • Rover Street™ RV Park, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for RV Park Business?

When it comes to the business structure for recreational vehicle parks, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability.

If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Recreational Vehicle Park?
  • General Business License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections for your facility
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Start Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Business?

You don’t need any certifications to start a recreational vehicle park.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open Recreational Vehicle Park Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval (For your recreational vehicle park (RV Park))
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a recreational vehicle park, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Business?

The startup cost for recreational vehicle parks is not uniform. But basically, the business will cost from $20,000 – $600,000 to start and that can easily go higher depending on your overall business goals and objectives. Please note that you can spend between $15,000 to $50,000, with 10 RV-ready sites per acre and this is excluding your non-equipment costs.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting Recreational Vehicle Park ?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $7,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $5,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $750,000.
  • Other start-up expenses like commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • start-up inventory – $25,000
  • Counter area equipment (countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.) – $9,500
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping – $550,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening Recreational Vehicle Park?
  • The size of the recreational vehicle park
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the recreational vehicle park (RV Park) business
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost for insurance policy covers
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost for the grand opening of the recreational vehicle park
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your recreational vehicle park (RV Park) business, and it will cost you a minimum of $120,000.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of Recreational Vehicle Parks?
  • Electric bills
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
  • Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Marketing costs
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $55,000 per year
  • Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Facility Manager – $38,000 per year
  • Accountant / Cashier – $34,0000
  • Marketing and Sales Officer – $32,000 per year
  • Attendants (5) – $30,000 per year
  • Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer – $23,396 per year
  • Cleaners – $18,000 per year
  • Security Officers – $21,150 per year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start Recreational Vehicle Park Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Fresh Nest® RV Park, Inc. is a standard and well-equipped recreational vehicle park that will be located in a growing community in Roswell, New Mexico.

Fresh Nest® RV Park, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a business, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.

b. Services
  • Operating RV parks
  • Operating overnight recreational camps
  • Operating travel trailer and caravan campsites
  • Operating wilderness camps
  • Food and drinks court
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to develop highly successful and profitable chains of recreational vehicle parks with state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology; a business that will not only meet the needs of her clients but also supersede their expectations.

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to operate chains of recreational vehicle parks all across major cities in the United States of America.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the recreational vehicle park are to provide a safe and secured camp facility for owners of recreational vehicles and campers.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Facility Manager
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Marketing and Sales Officer
  • Attendants (5)
  • Customer Care Executive/Front Desk Officer
  • Cleaners
  • Security Officers

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Ideal Location for recreational vehicle park
  • Highly Experienced and Qualified Employees and Management
  • Availability of electric vehicle charging ports as an additional service offering
  • Highly Secured and Clean Facility
  • Excellent operational history
Weakness:
  • Not enough existing clientele to run at full capacity immediately
  • The owner is new to large scale marketing
  • We will need a loan to build our facility
  • The owner is currently running the business solo and will need to build out the existing business
  • Lack of economies of scale.
Opportunities:
  • A growing number of recreational vehicles and electric car owners in the United States.
  • Build upon existing clientele
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
  • Favorable government policies.
Threat:
  • Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
  • The first year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
  • Competition in the area could increase
  • Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
  • Economic downturn; when the economy is bad it affects consumer spending which in turn impacts businesses negatively.
b. How Do Recreational vehicle parks Make Money?

Recreational Vehicle Parks make money by;

  • Operating RV parks
  • Operating overnight recreational camps
  • Operating travel trailer and caravan campsites
  • Operating wilderness camps
  • Food and drinks court
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your recreational vehicle park by sending introductory letters to recreational vehicle owners, electric vehicle owners, and other stakeholders in and around your city
  • Open your recreational vehicle park with a party to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
  • Advertise your recreational vehicle park on national dailies, local TV, and local radio stations
  • Promote your recreational vehicle park online via your official website and all available social media platforms
  • Making your first impression count positively
  • Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to your recreational vehicle park
  • Adopt a direct mailing coupon marketing approach
  • Position our signage/Flexi banners at strategic places
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable you to reward your regular customers

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

Most recreational vehicle parks charges between $500 and $1,200 per month to stay at an RV park, including the cost of utilities.

b. How Much Profit Do Recreational Vehicle Park Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but the available report shows that on average, a successful RV park owner can make from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. A successful RV park itself can make over a hundred thousand dollars depending on its popularity, location, and assets.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the recreational vehicle park
  • The types of related services and products offerings
  • The location of the recreational vehicle park
  • The management style of the recreational vehicle park
  • The business approach of the recreational vehicle park
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the recreational vehicle park
  • The number of years the recreational vehicle park is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of Recreational Vehicle Park?

The profit margin of the recreational vehicle park is not fixed. It could range from 15 percent to 25 percent depending on the available spaces in your facility.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for recreational vehicle parks. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $550,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $750,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1.2 million
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Recreational Vehicle Park?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to the number of people that owns recreational vehicles
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of recreational vehicle parks in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Recreational Vehicle Park Business?
  • Paso Robles, California
  • Grand Island, New York
  • Canyonville, Oregon
  • Cedar City, Utah
  • Long Beach, Washington
  • Dandridge, Tennessee
  • Mountain Home, Idaho
  • Custer, South Dakota
  • Theodore, Alabama
  • Roswell, New Mexico
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Recreational Vehicle Park?

You should be prepared to purchase charging plugs, measuring meters, changeover box, transformer, safety gadgets, computers or laptops, an internet facility, telephone, fax machine, and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard recreational vehicle park, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), facility manager, marketing and sales executive (business developer), accountant, attendants, cleaners, and security officers.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no recreational vehicle park opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the recreational vehicle park, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your recreational vehicle park is open for business.

a. What Makes Recreational Vehicle Park Successful?
  • Choose a good and secured location to launch the business
  • Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your recreational vehicle park
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your recreational vehicle park
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at Recreational Vehicle Park?
  • The facility is open for the day
  • Administrative work is done concurrently
  • The facility is cleaned and arranged to welcome patrons
  • Recreational vehicle owners and campers come in and parking spaces are allotted to them.
  • Surveillance is carried out
  • Maintenance of the facility is carried out
  • The facility is administratively closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build Recreational Vehicle Park (RV Park) Business?
  • Good facility management skills
  • Customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in the recreational vehicle park industry
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration.