Comprehensive advice for beginners on ‘how to set up a campsite’ from scratch – the profitable way.
Setting up a campsite can be a highly rewarding job for an owner with a complimentary love of the outdoors.
A zeal for customer service is also an advantage – to endure year round weather resistance with a smile.
However keen you are to begin a business of any kind, it always pays off to prepare by making detailed plans.
This is a guide to drafting a startup-plan for campsite ownership comes complete with templates, examples, lists, case studies and much more.
We hope you find it a constructive read, with many a take home tip for further strategic desktop value.
Table of Contents
- Campsite Ownership: Who Does It Suit? Lifestyle vs. Business Style
- Campsite Feasibility Plan
- Drafting A Campsite Business Plan
- Buying The Right Campsite
- Planning Campsite Site Layout & Amenities
- Campsite Regulations: Planning Permission & Licenses
- A Comprehensive Line-Up of Campsite Machinery
Keep a look out as you read this article. Within each chapter, we provide numerous hands-on resources which we hope will enable your to make a more profitable campsite acquisition.
Campsite ownership: Who Does It Suit? Lifestyle vs. Business Style
You might be surprised.
According to experienced owners, the most important factor for success when running a campsite is excellence in “customer service.”
Your camping customers will be of varying proficiency and experience.
Keeping all visitors well accommodated and hosted will be your secret to keeping them coming back.
Who is campsite ownership really for?
As a baseline, a well-rounded, intermediate skill set in outdoor pursuits will go along way to keeping the whole operation smoothly ticking over.
Many sites employ specialists in one activity or another, like archery for example, to establish a competitive edge and unique selling point.
A love of the outdoors for an owner though is a must.
Season in, season out. Come rain or shine (…as they say..) your motivation for getting up early and making sound preparation for the optimal guest experience must never dull.
Patience, as well as diligence in being able to spot a camper wading out of their depth are keen survival skills for the business.
Responsiveness to onsite problems call for round the clock availability. Logistically, this can be difficult to achieve if you live a distance from the site.
Campground owners who take up residence on-site, fair better in resolving potential unforeseen operational issues.
Is camping experience essential to have success as a campground owner?
The campsite customer experience is all the more memorable if owners prioritise knowing their customers.
How best can you get to know a camper? Be one.
Any length of experience in the discipline will reveal that campers are quite a social bunch.
Fostering a communal atmosphere within the camp adds untold value to the stay of guests.
Campsite visitors are typically a diverse crowd also, hailing from a variety of international destinations.
With such a wealth of diversity, a campsite can be a very eclectic environment and to leverage on this by encouraging respectful, organised interaction is a winner for any site owner.
If you are complete newbie to the culture, then to get a real grasp on the key success factors (the kind that you might not find by desk research alone) we advise taking the plunge to gather some first hand experience.
If you have personally embraced the discipline of camping already – then this will give you valuable insight into what benefits would be most appreciated by customers.
What does a typical day in the life of a campsite owner look like?
Campsite ownership is still a business.
Whilst the operational aspects of running the site are based outdoors, there is just no getting away from the office-based administrative tasks typical to any business ownership.
Take this average ‘day-in-the-life-of’, as disclosed by Don Pezza, owner of Waterloo Harbour Campground in New York, during interview with Businesses For Sale:
Q: What does a typical day/week look like?
A: It’s long. I would open the office at 8am and handle camper check-out until 11am when my wife would take over the office while I went outside and worked on maintenance or landscaping. I would get back to the office around 5pm-6pm and that’s when new campers would be checking in. You definitely have to like the business to do it every day.
You also need to be available to your customers 24-7. Once someone broke a water pipe and water was gushing 50 feet into the air at 11pm. If I hadn’t lived onsite, that would have been a real problem.
…interview courtesy of www.businessesforsale.com
Prerequisite skills for successfully running a campsite
A campsite owner who is an all rounder will have more resilience to outlast most storms.
There are many facets to the job:
- Business management
- inc. sales, marketing, promotion, PR, financial accounting…
- Customer service
- inc. check-in, check-out, training, cleaning…
- Camping skills
- inc. outdoor fire pits, other technical abilities, vehicle mechanics, water safety…
- Facilities management
- inc. plumbing, electrics, landscaping etc…
- inc. languages, cultural awareness, cooking etc…
…to name a few.
Do ex-corporate career people make good campsite owners?
Ultimately, passion for people is what makes businesses tick.
Where this exists, trade booms. Where this is waning, productivity is starved.
Corporate explorers who swap the sharp suits for waterproofs and Nikwax can make a raring success of the trade, if their heart is in the right place.
Take Vikram Jashapara, for example, an ex-finance company boss, inventor of dog aides and owner of Springfield Park Campsite, St Albans, Hertfordshire…within this interview, he demonstrates just how to break the mold.
Campsite feasibility plan: do your due diligence before going ahead!
There is more than one way to set-up a campsite.
Commonly, however, the necessity of the physical asset of land is totally unavoidable.
To get started, you either will have land already and will re-purpose what you’ve got, or you will need to acquire land.
Remember, to run a camping business also requires, for example, the appropriate trade licenses.
So by no means are we saying that it is as easy as simply getting some land.
But regulatory checks and balances aside for the moment, the foundational requirement of land is the first major hurdle to starting your campsite business.
Beyond the decision of either changing use of land which is already owned or acquiring a new plot, are the finer business details enclosed within a campsite feasibility study or master plan.
What is a feasibility study?
A campsite business is a means of matching the desire of customers for a winning outdoor pursuit experience, with reliability, whilst making a profit.
A feasibility study is the assessment of whether the project of starting-up a campsite is likely to be worth the endeavour.
Whilst it is impossible to tell for sure if a business is guaranteed to fail or succeed, you can establish a well calculated guess.
Executive summary for setting up a campsite
This is a high level summary of the feasibility study, giving direction and a head to the document.
Set a mission statement.
Say what you expect your campsite to mean to your customers and why, in a succinct sentence or two.
Products and services of the campsite
Like any business, the services and products mix offered by a campsite are entirely different – no two being alike.
Some campsites are more traditional that others offering an generally expected array of activities and amenities onsite.
Other campgrounds, after their owners, like to set trends and make their mark with innovation.
Whatever the line-up of products/services, consistent quality and profitability is key to sustaining long term advantage.
Core competencies and abilities must support the delivery of what is to be expected within the make-up of campground offerings.
The delivery of the aforementioned products and services will to some degree depend upon the competent use of technology.
Equipment of varying kinds are used on campsites…tractors, septic tanks, electrical hook-ups, showers and water mains…
Acquisition of machinery, competent use, training, licenses and other such considerations are typically addressed within feasibility plans.
A critical showstopper for many business operations in one way or another, overlooking technology can leave trade high and dry.
Assessing the feasibility of such prerequisites for performance is key to getting it right in practice.
Analysis of the campsite marketplace is key for validating the progress of the start-up project beyond mere concept.
Market indicators and statistics can provide a solid basis for further investment and commitment to delivering your campground start-up.
Supporting your start-up plans with evidenced trends and data-driven research of existing use, similar to the services/products you have in mind, grants confidence to planned progress.
Every campsite needs round the clock care, simply because your guests do.
Multidisciplinary skills demand as well as flexible availability of labour resources makes for quite a fine balance in aptly running a campsite.
Budget wise, there will need to be a mix part-time and full time stewards assigned to the day to day management, maintenance and operations of the business.
At this stage, a simple outline of dedicated personnel is all that is required to pull together a quick assessment of feasibility.
Names and IDs at this stage are useful to line up against function.
Time management is always a critical factor when planning a successful business.
Even at this early stage of planning, establishing a firm handle on scheduling – even just for milestone orientation to get a gauge of scope is useful.
An estimate of scope gives firmer understanding of how you might expect things to develop once you are underway.
Setting firm boundaries of time will grant you and your team reachable goals along the way.
6 year projection for a campsite business
This 6 year projection simply takes into account your income and cost expectations for the campsite. The aim here is to produce a cashflow figure per year.
This gives you an idea of how financially fruitful your campsite plans are likely to be over a 6 year period.
A comprehensive overview of revenue streams should be included: covering core business services as well as peripheral, more experimental or speculative ventures.
A well founded array of costs ought to be laid out here, doing away with as many assumptions as possible for greater certainty.
Your 6 year estimate should be used to support your ultimate start-up decision, either way.
Drafting A Campsite Business Plan
Business plans are more than formalities.
They should be the architectural commercial blueprint for how you intend to turn your campsite business concept and subsequent investment into multiplied returns, over the long term.
Your campground business plan should suffice a road map of exactly how you intend to drive your business vehicle confidently to the destination of success.
In our opinion your campsite business plan should incorporate the following points:
Already done (see previous chapter of this blog).
Project Plan for starting up your campsite
Your project plan for starting up your campsite begins with a problem statement.
A problem statement by definition declares how your business is to serve your customers. It answers the question…
“…what value are your really adding, beyond whats already out there?”
Your business will genuinely fulfill it’s purpose (and therefore have long term success) if it consistently solves customer’s problems, rather than primarily being a vehicle for making you money.
Customer-centric is the term used to describes a business with the customer at heart.
“This schematic summary published on Blogmutt, does a good job of piecing the concept together visually.”
…Quote from Smallholdings For Sale
Campsites and their owners therefore, according to sound business etiquette and teaching, ought to provide enriching camping experiences for their camping guests.
Where do you begin?
Talk to some campers & find out the problems they experience camping – and simply work hard to fill in the gaps!
Where are you going to find campers talking about their camping problems?
- Groups and associations
- Consumer rights portals
- Product reviews
- Social media channels
- On campsites…visit a few, talk to some campers
…the list goes on
Discuss the organisational impact
A new campsite business will impact your current organisational set-up one way or another.
It will require both personal commitment and sacrifice.
Making detailed notes on how this change in lifestyle might be managed will help you set realistic expectations for the business start-up road ahead.
Consider your personal resources and quantify your increased levels of output and personal investment.
Being granular in this area avoids the common culture shock (and often abandonment) of starting and enduring on within this new venture of yours.
Campsite market research & analysis
The marketplace is awash with campgrounds and what they have on offer.
Taking a deep dive examination into what exists out there in the commercial markets for camping activities will help you discover opportunities for you to effectively service the needs of potential guests.
Comparing existing market offerings according to the following benchmark criteria will grant you a well rounded picture of what’s out there and further give indication as to where you ought to position your campsite business within your market:
The Marketing Mix – 7Ps
“Simply put the Marketing Mix is a tool used by businesses and Marketers to help determine a product or brands offering.” – Professional Academy
…image courtesy of www.marketingmix.co.uk
- Product (service) – what type of campsite services are on offer? i.e. tent pitching, caravan/motorhome pitching, on-site activities, amenities like a launderette etc.
- Place – which location do you think will favour your campsite business the most? What location is going to be most convenient for your campers?
- Price – examining fees and fee structures of existing campsite businesses will give you an idea for what your customers might already be used to.
- Promotion – getting your business known by target markets takes establishing a deliberate course and sticking with it. Taking a look at how your peers in the marketplace already achieve this might stir up a few ideas of your own.
- People – customer service is the number one, resounding quality of a successful campsite business according to experienced owners. Getting your ‘people mix’ right from the top will get you a good headstart.
- Process – ‘secret sauce or special formula’ is simply the way you do things which customers find worth coming back to, time and time again. Get this right and you’ll soon gain a loyal, repeat customer base of campsite visitors.
- Physical environment – layout is a winning ingredient in campsite businesses. Get this right and make the experience all the more convenient for a diverse range of guests and you’re on to a winner all round. Consider the requirements of families vs. sole campers, or groups versus individuals etc. Privacy and proximity between guest pitches are very important dimensions to get right with planning uses of space with campsites.
Marketing & campsite promotion
Effectively and profitably reaching new audiences for your campsite business is a key success factor.
Communication is the key.
Can you persuade your audience that you understand their needs and that you have what it takes to deliver the quality they desire all round?
Problem solving businesses in these days with more commercially savvy and research able customers (…yes, even in the camping industry) reap incomparably greater rewards.
Isn’t it just about getting your brand out there? What’s with problem solving?
There are two approaches to getting your campsite to market.
- Traditional advertising […simply getting out there], vs…
- (Digital) Content Marketing […expertly answering customer problems & gaining reputation for it]
Traditional marketing involves saying what you’ve got and presenting an offer.
Content marketing involves harnessing the benefits of the internet to deal with customer’s questions and problems with expert answers and guides.
It builds trust early on, establishing your business as an authority in its field.
This positions your business, no matter how small or new, as outright leader before an audience of thousands, every day.
Traditional advertising vs content marketing
The disparity in bottom-line results is worlds apart. No contest.
Content marketing has the following undeniable advantages over traditional advertising:
- diy (do it yourself)
- rockets conversion rates
- provides unbeatable sales collateral
- grows brand reputation…exponentially
- long lasting
- primes customer for winning experience
- talk with customers from afar
- demand generation
…the list goes on!
All you need is a brand, domain name and a website content management system like, WordPress.org as a blogging platform (which is an online digital business journal for regularly relating to your prospective customers with your latest advice on how to solve their most pressing camping problems) & all for minimum cost.
The cost of content marketing is mere pennies in comparison to traditional marketing channels, yet offering incomparable reach and long term benefits.
…image courtesy of Visual.ly
Is there any real reason why your campsite business would not, could not, should not, benefit from a content marketing strategy?
Here is how we advise you go about developing your very own campsite content marketing strategy…
 Niche problem discovery – find out customer problems by listening to their conversations and making diligent notes.
 Seed your top content marketing topic ideas by keyword research – define which problems your customers would really appreciate you solving for them the most and discover how they might phrase how they ask such questions, using search engines like Google.
 Produce content silos based on common themes to group together similar pieces – your web content, in the form of written articles and other supporting media like videos and images, where appropriate, needs to be an overwhelmingly volume driven and exceedingly well organised body of advice.
Siloing is a very effective way of collating your ideas.
 Put together a schedule of production for your content marketing strategy – piece by piece, outline your plan for how you intend to develop the content pieces over time.
Once you’ve gotten this far, all that remains is to get developing that content…and…
…to hit publish of course!
Monitor your website traffic for updates on just how fruitful your content marketing efforts are proving in the live environment.
The final markers of success, however, of course are sales revenue and profit.
Which brings us neatly on to our next topic.
Financial plan for a campground business plan
Writing a financial plan for your campsite business will typically have the following profile:
- Profit/Loss or Income Statement
- Staff Budget
- Sales Projection Business Budget
- Asset Register
- Balance Sheet
Here’s a break down to explain the purpose and format for each chapter of this financial plan for setting up your campsite business…
Profit/loss or income statement
This profit loss template faces-off your campsite income directly against the expected costs & overheads.
When the two figures are lined up correctly (income vs. outgoing) – the resulting figure indicates the financial profitability (or loses made) of your business, on paper.
This cashflow statement will give you an idea of cumulative movement of cash in and out of your campsite business.
This differs from the profit loss in that it gives you a running total of your campsite’s cash position in order to predict availability of funds for meeting obligations and re-investing in operations etc.
Keeping a keen eye on your staff budgeting and labour resource management is critical to maintaining consistent operational commitment.
This spreadsheet will grant you oversight of your staffing budget at a glimpse.
Useful for keeping staff provision in view, for now and as well as for the future, as your campsite grows.
Having an accurate guess-timate for what your sales figures are likely to be for any given trade period is advantageous for forward planning.
Estimations within business planning are all dependent.
Cash flow, upon profit loss.
Profit loss upon sales.
Sales upon marketing research and product/service offering etc.
Aligning your estimations one with another will keep constant the assumptions and rationale, making your overall numbers of greater integrity.
Sales figures here should be underpinned by sound evidence based reasoning.
Keeping a running tally on the tangible and intangible assets your campsite business holds prepares you planning their maintenance, replacement or sale.
A running total of valuation and depreciation will put to the forefront their worthiness and market value.
This helps inform your decision making for handling them optimally for your business.
A fundamental view on the balance of assets (revenue generating – “monies coming in” – business holdings) vs. liabilities (monies owed) will offer a firmly grounded picture of long term business sustainability.
True profitability, answering the question, “what is your campsite business really built on?”
Management plan for a campsite business plan
Management of your campsite business comes down to your processes and procedures.
Coupled with keen stewardship and personal attentiveness of staff, also being systematic goes a long way.
The following framework is our recommended academic approach (based on Prince2 Project Management principles) to staging the running of your campsite business for the most controlled results:
The basis of estimate method will ensure your cost estimates for starting up your campground will carry a reliable granularity.
Every cost is broken down into its contributing elements, complete with itemised description and accompanying figures.
Campsites are labour intensive operations.
As an owner, you’ll need to keep a detailed draft plan of how you intend to handle staff and bring them into the optimal array for delivering the service quality your customers desire.
This labour management matrix covers the following disciplines:
- delegation of roles and responsibilities,
- operational organisation,
Procurement management for campsites
Procuring campsite assets and services effectively and efficiently needs professional planning.
Vendors and your relationships with them need evaluating continually in order to achieve favourable results for your business.
Quality management for campsite businesses
Quality of campers’ customer experience can be either positively or conversely impacted by service and product attributes.
- Check-in/check-out procedures
- Availability of amenities
- Pitch features etc…
List the attributes for each product or service and define metrics for measuring against a standard.
Risk management for campsite owners
Risk assessment in camping operations are a major consideration.
Documentation of health and safety routine inspections throughout the grounds and all equipment is an ongoing requirement.
Keeping a risk register allows for continual oversight over operational issues and your progress made in tackling them.
A framework for internal management of risk based on PRinCE2 principals will keep you in good stead for keeping bearing down on risk.
Buying The Right Campsite vs. Campsite Construction
As you can imagine, doing anything from scratch comes at a bigger initial cost – yet the long term results are more than often much more satisfying.
A campsite set-up comes with common obstacles either way, whether constructing and equipping a new site, or acquiring an existing business:
- planning permission
- campsite license
- minimum standards
- amenities planning
- capital expense
- reserve for initial revenue expenses
Common Pitfalls To Starting Up A Campsite
But generally speaking, the more extensive the project, the higher the barrier to entry becomes.
So building a campsite from scratch is a far more adventurous prospect and as such is wrought with greater complexities.
The following considerations when setting up a campsite, however, are typical for any project:
- Ownership – leasehold or freehold, along with long term on-site tenants like. cabin owners, might make campsite ownership more of a complex decision.
- Aspect – where is your campsite located? Advantages & disadvantages of the site?
- Access – is your chosen campsite conveniently & safely accessed by motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians etc.? Can emergency vehicles access your site and turnaround safely?
- Drainage – is your soil type permeable enough to allow ample drainage during periods of significant downpour? Is there risk of waterlogging ? Do you need to install boreholes into the land to aid drainage?
- Sewage – do you have ample capacity for current operational sewerage output as well as planned future growth? Have the systems been inspected and do they meet expected standards?
- Equipment – mobility around the site, haulage and landscape preparation requires appropriate equipment. Do you have sufficient tools and machinery for your planned operation?
- Electrics – do you and staff have sufficient technical problem solving knowledge for handling brownouts and restoring breaker settings once tripped? Do you have necessary dedicated electrical tools for electrical installation and repair onsite?
- Roads & Paths – do you have a tractor onsite? Do you have ample attachments for leveling off aggregate surface layers to produce a workable hardcore? Do you need tarmac or asphalt road surfaces?
- Mowing and Landscaping – are there expanses of lawned green? Do you need seated mowers to get the job done efficiently and effectively, in between busy occupation periods?
- Seasonal Issues – are you aware of flooding patterns, insect infestations and local woodland wildlife which may affect the user experience, one way or another, of your camping guests?
- Plumbing – pipework is adversely affected by cold weather extremes. Do you have necessary expertise, or can you call upon necessary expertise to avoid having to repair burst pipes or toilet basins in winter, by preventative measures?
Starting from scratch can become a minefield of bureaucracy according to some experienced owners.
Take this expat for example who immigrated to France in 2004 and set up campsites from scratch twice over and found both encounters to be very costly arrangements.
“…the caravan site had to have an enormous 8,000 ltr tank installed with an even more enormous two tiered soak away system. Doing most of the work ourselves it still cost an enormous budget busting €22,500.”
…a forum thread from French Entree property website
Advice from many is to find a depreciated campsite with the minimum of amenities which you intend to offer and simply bring the standard up to scratch.
Some say the potential cost savings from avoiding the premium of an existing campsite business many be completely lost or even dwarfed by the eventual cost of ‘regulatory hoop gymnastics‘ when starting out from scratch.
The merits either way are valid, but it depends on your ability to make the decision in confidence of long term profitability.
Planning Campsite Layout & Amenities
Aside from location, the utility of space is critical to getting the balance right with delivering optimal campsite services.
Organisation and layout of your campsite pitches and amenities will either make for a convenient camping experience, or otherwise one with quite a lot of user friction.
Of considerable importance is establishing optimal campsite layout for immediate operations as well as for the accommodation of future growth.
Setting the best layout for customer for time to come can be make or break for campsite businesses.
Integrally tied in to the planning permission process, drafting a good layout has multiple benefits.
The best way however to get a proper feel for what we mean, regarding campsite layout, is to delve into an illustrative case study.
The experts at the helm in this professional case study are SCHOENBAUER CONSULTING, LLC.
A husband and wife team with plenty of complimentary corporate experience in architectural landscaping and business management respectively.
“…a Minneapolis-based planning, design, community outreach/public process, and research firm specializing in public projects that improve the quality of life in our communities.”
…image and quote courtesy of http://www.schoenbauerconsulting.com/
Case study background:
The City of Fergus Falls retained Jeff and Kathy to draft a campsite master plan for the development of Delagoon Campground. It is a strategic, visionary document.
It is a primary tool of communicating a clear case for eliciting funding and to accompany the necessary planning submissions.
What we aim to provide by relaying this case study is a user-friendly digest for campsite start-ups, much like yours, whatever the scale.
These are strategic considerations of a development project, as articulated and delivered by consummate professionals.
We hope your enjoy this…
The Delagoon Campground Case Study
Regional significance and importance
It seems this campground aside from serving tourists also offers it’s resources to the community in which it resides and thus is highly valued for recreational benefits.
It’s redevelopment would provide a wealth of opportunities to fill a discernible value gap that otherwise would have been left unattended.
“The campground is a much needed regional recreational facility that complements other public (and private) regional or state-level campgrounds in the area.”
Regional general camping availability
Within the region, the are many other privately owned campsites which offer only limited availability to their facilities throughout the year.
Without Fergus Falls, regional guests looking for a general camping experience, year round, will be driven out of region to search for a solution elsewhere.
“Delagoon Campground is the only public campground along the full length of the Central Lakes State Trail.”
Setting & Environment
The campground is surrounded by lakes which are favoured positions for fishing trips.
There is also a local business district which connects guests to services such as local shops and entertainment.
“… direct access to Pebble Lake, the Central Lakes State Trail and the amenities provided at Delagoon Park all add value to the camping experience.”
Current campsite map
The current campsite map and layout offers an accurate as-is picture.
But also the map highlights s a raft of glaring problems which are in great need of correction.
A closer examination alludes to many issues which tell a story of general disrepair and in some areas, frank decay.
Having said that, the value-adding opportunities for redeveloping what is certainly a most diverse use of land are manifold.
“Although in need of redevelopment, the site itself is well-suited and well-located for development of a regional-level campground…(however), the existing utilities are rundown and do not meet current standards.”
Camper trends and optimal layout
The user trends for campsites within this region show an increasing preference (particularly from older guests) for a higher quality of amenities e.g. RV/Camper hook-up above and beyond over the more rustic, authentic tent-based experiences.
“…the diversity of campers and types of camping units is wide ranging – with a trend toward larger self contained RVs and campers.”
This is the portion of the document where the ambition of the executive team of owners is succinctly outlined for all to see.
The ideal camping experience should be found within these lines and all amenities by which to deliver real service excellence for years to come.
“[Mission statement:]… provide a high quality camping and outdoor recreational experience, along with providing a convenient place to stay for residents, regional visitors and tourists…”
Master plan illustration
The campsite masterplan is neatly summed up by the following illustration.
Roadways and entrance
The roadways and entrance to the campsite are quite an attraction in themselves.
They do a delightful job of showing off the outstanding natural beauty of the environment.
They are built-up in tarmac for durability and ease of traverse for guests in motor vehicles like RVs etc.
“…new entrance drive will traverse through an old farmstead to create a more appealing sense of entrance to the campground.”
Custom designed buildings to contain laundry rooms, toilets and shower rooms are provided for within the planned redevelopment.
The designs and standards are underpinned by the local authority heath and safety department policies.
“…number of options are being considered for the design of the sanitation building and toilet facilities.”
Dump station and trash
Dump station and trash recycling amenities are regularly distributed through the expansive landscape of this park.
“… trash/recycling center will be designed with a pull-off lane from the entrance road to allow campers to dispose of their trash without blocking outgoing traffic.”
Trails, reserves and recreational areas
Trails which are tarmacked for easy car access are flanked by picnic benches, ballparks and beach.
There are wood storage units at regular intervals for campers to obtain pest-free wood for wood fires.
“…allow campers to walk or bike between camp loops and gain access to the various recreational features within and outside the campground.”
Lawns and landscaped areas
Aside from well maintained turf in many areas of the park, there is more wild, natural habitat with trees and shrubbery.
“… well-maintained park-like aesthetic will be retained, many of the areas in and around the campground loops will be transitioned over time to a more natural landscape of native trees.”
This campsite layout case study wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a round-up of cost.
As is customary for such a grand scale project, the costs involved for delivering the goods are likewise massive.
If your campsite start-up project is a more humbled scaled down version, if even comparable at all, don’t fast forward just yet.
It’s worth taking a look at the itemised costs as they lend a well rounded appreciation for all involved.
These cost categories might be very applicable to your project, albeit with numbers a little lower than these quoted costs.
However, the principal of cost category should still apply.
Campsite Regulations FAQs: Planning Permission & Licenses (England and Wales)
Setting up a campsite is an activity regulated by UK law.
As for the checks, balances and controls involved, these are the nuances in the form of a classic FAQ exercise (full details are displayed on the GOV.UK website):
Who governs the application process for a campsite license (England and Wales)?
Local authorities are responsible for the exercising of governance over the allocation of campsite licenses here in the England and Wales.
What are the prerequisites for campsite license application (England and Wales)?
Prior to applying for a campsite license, you must first have planning permission.
What exemptions are there for applying for a campsite license (Englnad and Wales)?
- If you are hospitable to certain types of manual labourers such as the following, then you will be exempt from applying for a campsite license:
- forestry workers
- seasonal workers like fruit pickers
- or, travelling showmen
- If you have 5 or more acres and accommodate 3 or less tents for 28 days or less per year, you will also be exempt.
- If you are the member of an organisation and have exemption certificate
- If your site is approved by a camping or caravan organisation with an exemption certificate
- If members of an exempted organisation stay in tents on your site
If granted, what restrictions can be applied to the issuing of a campsite license (England and Wales)?
Even should you receive a campsite license, you might still be constrained to do the following:
- Conform your preferred layout to our new instruction;
- How many tents are allowed onsite;
- Toilet facilities that should be provided
“…don’t agree with your campsite permission outcome?” You can appeal to your local magistrates court.
How do I apply for a campsite license (England and Wales)?
Get in contact with your local council.
Ask for the form, fill it in (detailing proposed campsite layout, available amenities etc.) and await your council’s decision.
Some authorities, charge a fee on awarding a campsite license.
What happens if I don’t get a campsite license and begin operation, although requiring one (England and Wales)?
You could be fined.
What happens if I break the conditions of my license (England and Wales)?
Again, you could be fined.
A Comprehensive (…but not exhaustive) List of Campsite Machinery
The following is a useful list of the kinds of equipment many campsiteslike the type you are seeking to set up use.
These items are a matter of preference and are not mandatory. We hope you find it worth a quick glance.
Note: this outline of items and respective suppliers can be found at: http://www.caravanparkproducts.co.uk/
Alarms – ensuring valuable equipment and off-bounds facilities are protected, alerting you if there should be any accounts of tampering or interference.
Barriers – barricading particular areas from your guest footfall to ensure necessary boundaries are maintained.
Benches and tables – communal hotspots for a quick exchange or sharing some food in designated areas.
Bicycle parking – guests can secure their bikes when visiting various parts of your site.
Bollards – deterring vehicular traffic from specific areas on site.
Booking management system – take online bookings and collate all customer data together in one neat digital CRM.
Campfire/fire pits – large controlled fires where guests can gather at night to roast snacks and warm themselves together.
CCTV – keep a protective watch over your guests to ensure the utmost safety standards are exercised at all times.
Changing and toilet cubicles – purpose made sanitary facilities for all guests.
Chemical toilet – does your site lack running water? Do you need a toilet facility? Enter, chemical toilet. Simple.
Coin meter + timers – electrical hook-ups and other amenities might be on controlled meter usage, available to guests.
Coin operated laundry – clothes washing facilities for guests to conveniently and cost effectively keep there clothes & bedding clean.
Dog waste bins – discrete, appointed communal cans where guests can deposit their dog’s waste.
Fencing – bordering your site and containing the use of your landscape physically and visibly.
Fire extinguisher – fire protection equipment strategically positioned onsite as a back-up should any fires breakout.
Geodesic domes or marquee – temporary demountable structures, gathering points where guests can assemble under a canopy.
Hardstanding – for touring caravans and RVs to take position at your designated pitches.
Hazard markers – for highlighting areas where hazardous material or chemical has been split to alert others to beware of the instance.
Help point telephones – for guests who need assistance and must speak with someone in an emergency.
Hookup meters – metered electricity for charging up RV/motorhome batteries etc.
Log cabin – more permanent accommodation available on-site for an alternative where necessary or preferred by some guests.
LPG water heaters + boilers – provide reliable hot water for your campsite guests.
Mowers & leaf blowers – keep lawn areas attractive to use and respectfully tidy for your guests.
Notice boards – general notices and messages are clearly displayed and won’t weather easily with these purpose made notice boards.
Pitch markers – outline exactly where each pitch begins and ends to avoid doubt and confusion among guests.
Playground equipment – children can now enjoy constructive outdoor activities with your safe play environment.
Portable toilet – toilet facilities for all.
Reception desks – a professional presentation upon check-in with a manned reception.
Safety flooring – install flooring with good grip for aspects of the site where guests will need the artificial help.
Sheds – multipurpose storage.
Showers – allow guests to bathe themselves adequately on your campsite and keep them coming back with repeat bookings.
Signage – make clear reference to denote key features on site.
Tractor – a general, all-round utility vehicle for your campsite, performing tasks such as: laying down hardcore etc.
Wifi broadband – allow guests to remain conveniently connected to the internet with wifi internet broadband.
Conclusion for setting up your campsite
Whilst we have certainly put a lot of effort into presenting you with a comprehensive guide, we still believe in the fruitful manner of online social media… a ‘guide post’ isn’t truly complete without a long list of comments!
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We hope you gain good value in planning and preparation from this article for starting your own campsite business.