Two Organizations Provide Excellent Value

California RV parks and campgrounds can benefit from joining both their national and state associations. Each provides services and discounts that support California campground operators.

National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds – membership runs on a calendar year

  • The national association, ARVC, advocates for RV parks on a national level, working with the ADA Access Board, National Electric Code, RVIA, RVDA, Outdoor Recreation Coalition and many other important organizations.
  • ARVC leverages volume discounts from propane vendors, music & movie licensing corporations, equipment and other vendors.
  • ARVC provides a broad-based quality education program for park operators through its conference, week-long school or online webinars.
  • ARVC offers national marketing with GoCampingAmerica.com.

California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds – membership runs August thru July

  • Your state association, CalARVC, advocates at the state level. In California, RV parks and campgrounds are subject to a wide variety of regulations that do not exist in other parts of the country. With a team of lobbyists in Sacramento, and coalitions with travel and business groups, a team of attorneys, and over 30 years of monitoring California’s campground regulations, CalARVC provides guidance and information to member campgrounds.
  • CalARVC offers free legal assistance with eight attorneys volunteering their time along with free access to removal and eviction forms on CalARVC.org.
  • CalARVC leverages volume discounts for movie licensing, office supplies, credit card processing, equipment, booth spaces at the California RV Show and other vendors.
  • CalARVC’s RV Park Days provides personalize education and casual networking hosted by a CalARVC me

The 2019 Camp-California Guide Doubles as a Trip Planner

THE 2019 EDITION OF “CAMP-CALIFORNIA! THE CAMPERS’S GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA” DOUBLES AS A TRIP PLANNING GUIDE FOR EVERY REGION OF THE STATE IN EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR

In addition to highlighting California’s “quaint, quirky and downright adorable small towns,” the free guide features unique road trip ideas for both California and parts of Nevada with a focus on 13 caving destinations as well as eclectic music, food, wine and outdoor recreation events

AUBURN, Calif., Feb. 1, 2019 — The 2019 edition of Camp-California! The Camper’s Guide to California and Nevada, is bigger and has more trip planning content than ever before.

While the award-winning guide is best known for its focus on campgrounds, RV parks and resorts with sought after amenities, onsite activities and entertainment, this year’s guide includes feature stories on unique road trip ideas, including caving destinations, “quaint, quirky and downright adorable small towns” as well as eclectic music, food, wine and cultural festivals and even outdoor recreation events as varied as balloon races, rodeos and guided snowshoe walks.

“This is much more than a campground directory. It’s a publication that you can sit down and read while enjoying a glass of wine,” said Dyana Kelley, incoming executive director and CEO of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which produces the guide in addition to hosting Camp-California.com, the travel planning website.

“We’re now taking the approach of creating an annual magazine focusing on unique aspects of California like our cave system this year. Other topics in the pipeline include ghost towns, California missions, gold rush history, volcanos, and wildlife viewing. The idea is to make the Camp-California Guide a collector piece that consumers …

Santee Lakes Koval Wins Council Seat and Stewardship Awards

November and December seem to be magical months for Laura Koval, who manages Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve and its 300-site public campground.

In early November, Santee Lakes won its third Plan-it-Green Award in the past five years from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

Earlier this month, Santee Lakes also won its first Torch Award for Environmental Stewardship from the Better Business Bureau, a highly competitive award involving every category of business in San Diego and Orange Counties.

To top it off, Koval has made a successful foray into politics, winning a seat on the Santee City Council. She was sworn in to a two-year term on Wednesday, Dec. 12 and will be the only woman on the Santee City Council.

“It’s been a crazy few months!” said Koval, who was born and raised in rural East San Diego County and built successful careers in community service, marketing and customer retention before going into the campground business four years ago.

But Koval said she has the experience needed to help the city of Santee, which like many communities will struggle with a budgetary shortfall if there is no course correction. “That’s my area of expertise: budgeting and revenue generation and thinking of creative ways to generate income. I just felt that with my experience, I should run,” she said.

Koval initially worked for the Boys and Girls Clubs of East San Diego County and subsequently spent 28 years working in various positions for the San Diego Padres baseball team, ultimately becoming their director of ticket services and fan loyalty. Then she spotted the opportunity to move to Padre Dam Municipal Water District in 2012 and ultimately moved to manage Santee Lakes, a scenic public campground with seven private, stocked fishing lakes, all of …

Leadership Transition Underway at CalARVC

Debbie Sipe plans to turn over her leadership duties at CalARVC and Camp-California! Marketing to Dyana Kelley next summer

A transition in leadership is now underway at the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) and Camp-California! Marketing, its for-profit marketing subsidiary, according to a press release.

Debbie Sipe plans to resign from her positions as executive director of CalARVC and CEO of Camp-California! Marketing next July.

Dyana Kelley, a life-long RV enthusiast, backpacker and former REI outdoor travel guide, will assume Sipe’s duties. Kelley, who joined CalARVC June 1 to manage the association’s marketing, was selected to replace Sipe after a nationwide executive search.

Sipe has already begun training Kelley for her new leadership positions at CalARVC, as well as Camp-California! Marketing, which manages Camp-California.com, the association’s travel planning website and its Camp-California! campground directory.

“CalARVC and Camp-California! Marketing will be in good hands with Dyana,” said CalARVC President Randy Hendrickson, who noted that Kelley has a natural passion for the camping and RV industries.

Kelley literally took her first RV trip as a newborn baby. Her father, an avid RVer and fisherman, packed her into a banana box and took her and her mother on a trip to Crowley Lake for the opening week of trout fishing season. Kelley would not only grow up camping with her family at Crowley Lake every year, but she would continue RVing and camping on her own as an adult.

This set the stage for Kelley’s lifetime of passion in the outdoor recreation industry, according to the release. Kelley has traveled by RV to the 48 contiguous states (Alaska is on her bucket list), visited 26 national parks and hiked many of Ca…

November General Election Preview

by Don Gilbert, Mike Robson, Trent Smith, and Jason Ikerd; EGRS Lobbying, CalARVC’s Lobby Firm

The November General Election will be held on November 6. Much media attention is being placed on the fact that it is a mid-Presidential term election and therefore serves as a barometer of how the national voting public feels about the President of the United States.

Many pundits believe that control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the U.S. Senate could shift from Republican to Democrat. For that to happen, however, there are many traditionally California Republican congressional seats that would need to become Democrat seats in this election. These hotly contested congressional races will have a ripple effect on the elections for Governor, statewide ballot measures, and the Legislature, which is the main focus of this report.

Going into the November election it is important to note a few basic voter registration facts in California. The key fact is that both major parties are declining in voter registration, with decline in Republican registration being more dramatic.

As of September 7, 2018:

Democrats — 43.8 percent
Republicans — 25.1 percent
No Party Preference — 25.5 percent

At this point, there are more people who choose neither major party than there are people who register as Republicans.

Governor
It is widely expected that the current Lt. Governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, will prevail in the race for Governor against Republican John Cox. Newsom has raised significantly more money and has held a significant lead in every statewide poll to date. The only debate occurred as a radio debate and attracted little attention. Cox is running on fiscal responsibility and opposition to increased fees and taxes. He specifica…

80 Park Operators Attend CalARVC’s Fall RV Park Day

Nearly 80 private park operators gathered at Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles to attend CalARVC’s Fall RV Park Day education and networking event.

But roughly a dozen park operators arrived the day before the Sept. 26 event to attend a disaster planning workshop with Patrick Hardy, of Hytropy.com, one of the nation’s top disaster planning firms.

Meeting at The Vines RV Resort in Paso Robles, Hardy walked park operators through the process of how to develop their own disaster plan. He also focused on the details, such as coordinating with county emergency officials to find out where they want people to evacuate to.
Hardy said it’s important for park operators to gather the preferred contact information for all park guests and to develop a system for emergency communication with them in the event of an evacuation order. While emergency text messages, such as the emergency presidential alert text issued by the Trump Administration last week, are one way to communicate, not all guests have cellphones or ways of receiving text messages and require another method for emergency communications.

Each park should also have an “incident commander” who is responsible for making key decisions during a disaster, Hardy said, adding that park operators should make several copies of their disaster plans and make sure appropriate park personnel, even new hires, know how to implement these plans.

After completing their disaster planning session, park operators toured The Vines RV Resort, one of three Sun Communities resorts in the Paso Robles area that hosted CalARVC RV Park Day attendees.

The disaster planning workshop attendees then traveled a short distance down the road to attend a late afternoon grand opening celebration at Cava Robles RV Resort, the first Sun Commu…

Presidential Musings – August 2018

Accounting. The very word can strike fear in our hearts; many of us may do our own accounting or outsource it. Let’s face it – We as owners or managers are focused on day to day operations, marketing, making sure our guests are taken care of and enjoying a great camping experience, and rightly so. But at the end of the day, knowing and understanding the math is critical in making important decisions regarding your property. At our upcoming CalARVC 2018 Fall RV Park Day, Wednesday, September 26 at Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles, Lindsey Foos, Founder of Fireside Accounting, will be presenting a session on “Tips and Tricks for Tracking What’s Important. ” Among the topics to be discussed:

• Why accurate and detailed accounting is critical
• What elements are important to track
• How to track your property’s performance
• Using financial data to make decisions

In a little more detail, further topics:

• Why accurate and detailed accounting is critical: Not only for your own tax preparation, but also if you intend to sell. Buyers will need accurate P&L’s with extensive line item detail. Don’t just lump your revenue from all site types into ‘Rental revenue’, break it out by site type.

• Track your revenue by site type for Y/Y comparisons: Tracking revenue by site type allows you to make adjustments as needed. For example if you note that Y/Y your Premium sites are dropping and Standard site revenue is increasing, are your premium sites overpriced? Do you need to do an email blast with a special price for the Premium sites to generate interest so they might see the value and book that site again in the future when they return? Conversely, if your Premium sites show an increase in occupancy and revenue, should you upgrade your standard sites to Premium? If you have extra land and a…

Crider’s Corner – Emergency Communications

Earlier this year, CalARVC dedicated a full day to emergency planning, with guest speakers from the Border Patrol, the FBI as well as Hytropy Reverse Disaster, one of the nation’s top disaster planning firms.

But there’s another topic that needs to complement planning for any type of emergency, whether it’s a fire or earthquake or a problem involving a staff member or guest: Emergency communications involving the news media.

What will your front desk staff do when they get a call from a reporter asking about an alleged crime that has been committed at your park or some other type of disaster, such as a drowning?
Reporters call the police every day, often several times a day, to find out what is happening in their communities. I used to do this in my early years as a reporter. I’d call both the police and fire departments and they would brief me on the most dramatic incidents, which I wrote about every day.

Many businesses, however, do not have a communications plan in place, let alone one for handling reporters when there’s an emergency situation or a negative news event involving their business.
I experienced this with my first PR job 20 years ago while working as public relations manager USFilter, which at that time was a Fortune 500 company. There was a problem involving the disposal of waste at one of our facilities in another state, which caught the media’s attention. But instead of referring the call to me so that I could investigate the situation and give the reporter an informed response, the person who answered the call provided incomplete information on their own, which resulted in a negative story. None of us at corporate headquarters even knew about the situation until we saw the story the next day. By then, the PR damage had been already done.

It didn’t have to be that wa…

Lindsey Foos to Keynote CalARVC’s RV Park Day

Lindsey Foos, Founder, Fireside Accounting

Lindsey is a Certified Public Bookkeeper with over eight years of impeccable bookkeeping experience. Over the last couple of years, Lindsey and her team have provided complete accounting solutions for a variety of RV properties, including campgrounds, monthly parks, and busy transient resorts. Lindsey and her husband spent 2016-2017 full-time RVing across the country, allowing her to experience property operations from the ground up. By assisting her clients in person during that time period, she was able to gain first-hand knowledge of the accounting systems and procedures that help set a park up for success! Lindsey has developed an integrated accounting process that removes the burden of bookkeeping from clients and their staff using industry-tailored bookkeeping practices. Through this comprehensive approach, her clients receive detailed financial reporting to help them in their decision-making.

“Tips and Tricks for Tracking What’s Important” will be part of the morning program for CalARVC’s 2018 Fall RV Park Day, Wednesday, September 26 at Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles.

Description of the session:  Handling the accounting for your property can be an overwhelming task. When an operator is being pulled in so many different directions, the books are often the last thing they want to worry about. However, as daunting as it may seem, accounting is no doubt one of the most crucial elements of your business. In this presentation, “Tips and Tricks for Tracking What’s Important,” learn the techniques to better tackle your property’s accounting. Discover ways to make sense of your reporting and find some solutions that you can work with to not only keep a pulse on your pro…

CalARVC’s 2017-2018 Year in Review

Summer 2018

Dear Members,

2017-18 continued to build on last year’s momentum for CalARVC! With your input, CalARVC is focused on the programs and benefits you said are important, saving you money, getting you the answers you need faster, and bringing more campers to your door.  Click here to read our 2017-18 Year in Review>

  • Relaunch of an image rich, mobile-friendly, park centric Camp-California.com along with 200,000 of the Camp-California! Guide.
  • Conducted a Reservation Software Comparative Session and Disaster Planning Day.
  • Made removal and eviction forms free. Each fillable form comes with instructions guiding you through the how and when to use.
  • Exclusive access to the best practices in guest management and regulatory information covering a wide range of topics on CalARVC.org.
  • Attorneys at your fingertips. Our Legal Hotline gets you the answers you need.
  • Award-winning lobby team focused this year on protecting parks from California’s state and regional water boards.
  • Access to your peers and experts with CalARVC’s Spring and Fall RV Park Days.

Every week we keep you up-to-date with relevant information delivered via our Coffee Talk Enews and monthly with our printed CalARVC News.

We are able to do all of this because of your commitment to the industry and to CalARVC. Thank you for your membership. I encourage you to reach out to other parks in California and share our efforts. Let them know that we are working hard to make all California parks more profitable.

The stronger we are; the stronger you are!

Though we did lose a key staff member and best friend, we are building a new, remarkable team to serve you for years to come. For those of you who may have missed the announcement, Susanne White passed from this world on May 7th after only 48 very short years. Bu…