Friday, October 12, 2012

Have you Thought About Seasonal Camping?

As autumn gives way to winter, most campers’ thoughts turn to the chore of winterizing their RV’s to place them in storage for the long, cold non-camping season ahead.  Instead, turn your thoughts to next summer, and begin planning your family’s vacation and recreation time!  Here are some reasons why seasonal camping may make good sense for your family and some tips on how to shop for and compare seasonal camping sites!
There is convenience!  Camping is a lot of fun for the whole family, but let’s face it, there’s work involved too.  You have to pack, hook-up, tow, unhook, set up camp, tear down camp, hook-up, tow, unhook, and unpack.  Seasonal camper campers don’t have to do all that.   You get to spend a lot more time camping and enjoying your family and a whole lot less time working! 

Save money!  Recent studies have documented that camping is the least expensive way to vacation with your family.  Take that thinking one step further and you will see why seasonal camping is the least expensive way to vacation with your family all summer long!  A seasonal campsite costs less then one week long vacation at a resort.  So why not enjoy your RV every weekend, all summer long, for less than the price of one vacation?  Now that’s being a thrifty shopper!

Shorter Commute!  Towing creates wear and tear on your RV, your tow vehicle, and on you, the driver!  There are also fuel and maintenance costs associated with weekend travel.  So unless your family is determined to try a new place each weekend, why not camp at your favorite campground for the whole summer?  The money you save in wear and tear, and by not towing will more than offset your extra expenditures on gas to get you back and forth each weekend! 

The Price is right!  When you compare unlimited camping rates to overnight camping, the discount you get by being a seasonal camper is huge!  Most campgrounds provide similar services and activities, but ask about extras!  Some campgrounds provide all inclusive seasonal rates and some do not.  Make sure you know exactly what your expenses will be before you sign that Seasonal Camping Agreement!   When you do the math, you’ll find that the price is right!    

Think Location, Location, Location, versus price.  The more centrally located a campground is to a large metropolitan area, the more likely their rates will be higher.  A little longer commute may provide you even bigger savings in a lower seasonal camping rates! 

What park type fits your family’s needs?  That means that if you’re looking for a family campground, make sure the place you’re becoming a seasonal isn’t a party haven!  Can you count on them to provide fun, family oriented activities for the entire family?  Are there fun things to do that will keep the kids or grandkids busy and having fun?  Does your prospective campground provide them at no additional cost or are there extra fees?  Again, make sure you know those details.

Right now is the perfect time to select a site!  Most campgrounds have a few openings for next season in the fall, so it’s the perfect time to shop for a campsite!  Many have winter payment plans, and some may even include onsite winter storage!  If you normally pay for a storage facility, that’ll save you even more money!   

Save more by getting an early bird discount!  You can save even more money by  paying for your campsite early.  Many campgrounds provide discounts or rebates for those who their campsite off in full early!  Again, ask those questions, because the money you save can be big! 

Meet new people!  Seasonal campers are like a small community.  They become friends, hang out, play cards or yard games, have group campfires, their children become friends, and much more!  Many volunteer to help with activities and events and bring lots of fun to their camping environment in a family-friendly way!  What a great way to meet new people and make new friends!    

Make the right choice!  The closer you camp to where you live the better it is!  That is how you’ll get the most use out of your RV!  But remember, the experience isn’t just something, it’s everything!  It’s much better to drive a little further for that higher rating, those award-winning activities, or those special friends you love to camp with!  Don’t sacrifice quality for closer. 

Seasonal camping maximizes your summer vacation time and use of your RV while minimizing your expenses!  It can provide your family a summer full of fun, family oriented camping experiences for about the same price as one vacation!  Make sure you take a little time to consider that idea, and how it can help your family get the biggest bang for your buck next summer!  Then, we hope you’ll start looking at local campgrounds and thinking about becoming a seasonal camper!  It’s not too late to move onto a site this fall!  Campground owners are looking forward to talking with you and showing you all the fun events and activities we’re already planning for next summer!  If you're thinking about seasonal camping in NWPA area, we hope you'll come give Meadville KOA a good look! 

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.