What Makes an RV Park A Five-Star Resort?

A key factor in planning an RV road trip is selecting RV parks and resorts

Choosing an RV park sight unseen can be like playing the lottery. Many parks and resorts feature a variety of amenities, entertainment, and fun activities for the entire family and cultivate an atmosphere that’s welcoming for all ages enabling families to enjoy quality time together.

Gila Bend KOA, Gila Bend, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choices for RV parks include luxurious RV resorts, activity-filled family destinations, 55+ parks, secluded natural settings, and basic parks conveniently located for an overnight stay. The quality varies from budget to high end resorts. And prices also run the gamut.

Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re looking for a five-star RV resort with all the amenities including 50-amp electric, water, sewer, cable TV, and Wi-Fi, there are several things to consider before making your decision.

When it comes to choosing an RV park, you deserve the best. Here’s how you can tell which RV parks are truly five-star resorts.

River Run RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quality Customer Service

Front desk staff should greet guests with a smile. Quality RV resorts hire staff that are good at customer interaction and have a great attitude. Staff should be well-trained and knowledgeable about RVing, the park, and local area.

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Adequate Space Between Sites

A five-star RV resort should provide adequate space between sites with attractive landscaping that provide guests a sense of privacy and some breathing room.

Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pull-through Sites Are Spacious and Well Maintained

You know you’re pulling into a quality RV resort when the pull-through sites are long and spacious. A huge, defined site makes parking so much easier, no matter the type of recreational vehicle.

7 Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Utilities Are Centrally Located & Up-to-date

Dumping waste is not something most of us really want to have to deal with. But, we have no choice. When an RV park offers up-to-date connections that are conveniently located, it makes the job that much easier. One should not have to unhook the toad in order to line up the rig to the sewer utility. The better resorts offer the choice of two sewer connections.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Seviereville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


No longer a nice-to-have amenity, Wi-Fi is now an essential utility. A five-star RV resort should have quality Internet available at all RV sites. You should not have to lug your laptop and everything else you need to the clubhouse or Internet “hot spot” to get online. The internet is a daily tool after all and Wi-Fi is like the new electricity. And don’t nickel-and-dime me for this essential utility.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Convenient Way to Dispose of Trash

Trash stinks, so of course, you’ll want to be able to easily dispose of it. It’s always a plus if the bin is within easy walking distance from your site or—even better—if your trash is picked up.

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Laundry Facilities Are Clean and Well Maintained

A five-star RV park provides a clean laundry room with an ample number of easy-to-use washers and dryers. The laundry room is conveniently located and all appliances are well maintained and in good working condition at all times.

Vista del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona

Picnic Tables

Picnic tables are a must when it comes to camping. A quality RV park will provide one in good condition. You don’t need to eat at the table—you can just sit and relax or work, read, play games, or enjoy a conversation while soaking in the surroundings.

Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pet Area

An estimated 60 percent of RVers travel with their pets. A quality RV resort provides a dog park where Fido can frolic after being cooped up in an RV for an extended period of time. A fenced-in dog run and exercise area enables canines to run around leash free. A pet agility area with tunnels, hoops to jump through, teter-toters, ramps, a dog wash, and drinking fountain is an added bonus for your four-legged companion.

Jackson Ranchiera RV Resort, Jackson California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Please Note: This is part of an on-going series on 5 Star RV Resorts

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

Improving the RV Purchase and Repurchase Experience

How RV dealers can foster lasting relationships

In an earlier post I discussed the results of a recent survey of 3,000 consumers engaged in the recreational vehicle buying process from 2017-2018. Conducted by AVALA, a Rollick Company these results are included in their whitepaper, “The Recreation Shopping Experience: Why Customers Buy and How to Ensure They Buy From You.”

The study concluded with suggestions on how RV dealers can improve both the purchase and repurchase experience.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

For dealers to set themselves apart from the rest of the RV industry, it is imperative they optimize consumer engagement with their brand.

Areas of focus that will move the needle in their favor include pricing clarity.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Gila Bend KOA in Gila Bend, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

According to a study by Paul W. Farris, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20 percent. And according to Bain and Company, returning customers spend an average of 67 percent more than first-time customers.

All the new customers in the world don’t matter if dealers don’t retain the ones they already have. To keep customers coming back RV dealers should follow up with them. Thank them, provide them with great service and continue to grow the relationship. Use a post-purchase/delivery satisfaction survey.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Casa Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

A proper delivery process makes for happy customers and is a key for developing a lasting relationship. This requires having in place qualified technicians to complete a walk through with the purchasing customers and full-service guest spots to allow an appropriate amount of time to learn about their new RV. Some highly technical units can take a few days of training.

With some RV dealers, you’re unlikely to speak with anyone unless you’re contacting them with a complaint. This is not the way lasting relationships are fostered.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Vista del Sol RV Resort in Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

There is opportunity to sell the same consumer multiple products, and the goal is to make sure it is your products they repurchase, which is a joint effort between the dealer and the manufacturer. In fact, the data indicates that if a consumer leaves a dealer because of dissatisfaction with their service, they may also leave the brand.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Grand Canyon Railway RV Resort in Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

It’s an oft-quoted statistic that acquiring new customers costs six to seven times more than retaining existing ones. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 68 percent of customers leave because they’re upset with the treatment they’ve received. That’s why offering fast, helpful customer service is critical to retaining customers. Not to mention that happy customers and word of mouth can also be some of the most effective drivers for new business.

Often the key to growing your company isn’t just getting new customers, but keeping the older ones.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Las Vegas RV Resort in Las Vegas, Nevad © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Most recreation products are discretionary, or not a “need” product. Any friction the consumer may experience reduces the opportunity of a sale. Both the manufacturer and the dealer do better when they focus on great customer service and working together. 

An RV is no small purchase, and the best dealers and manufacturers are run by those who understand what it takes to create a lifelong customer. A connection like this is the result of a total dedication to transparency, integrity, and responsiveness.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Ambassador RV Resort in Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

If you have a problem, those involved in the manufacturing and sales process have a problem that must be handled with honesty and an emphasis on making things right, right away. If you get the feeling that one of dealers and/or manufacturers you’re considering might not react this way, move on.

And remember that not all manufacturers are created equal and not all dealers are created equal. Before you sign on the dotted line you owe it to yourself to get the facts and become an educated buyer.

Moving from the old to the new at Midtown RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

In the interests of full disclosure, we currently own a 2019 Dutch Star diesel pusher. This is our fifth Newmar motorhome and Midtown RV in Penticton, British Columbia, is our trusted dealer.

In a recent conversation with Kalvin Stayberg of Midtown RV, he indicated that repeat customers account for about 60 percent of their total Newmar sales. Yes, great customer service matters.

2019 Newmar Dutch Star at Las Vegas RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Worth Pondering…

Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than they expect to get.

—Nelson Boswell