“Care to See My Poop?” – A.K.A. The Problem with RV Park Design

A photo of a secluded RV site pad, surrounded by bushes and trees

A nicely secluded RV site in Estero, Fl

So ever since we started doing this full-timing in an RV thing, one thing has struck me about 90% of the parks we’ve stayed in; the proximity of one sites outdoor area (picnic table, fire-pit, and the like) to the next sites hook-ups.  This design makes logical sense for the logistics of the park.  However, for us as visitors, it leads to one potentially difficult situation; emptying your black tank while your neighbors look on.  “Ignore me, I’m just going to drop an entire school-worth of kids off at the pool, you guys keep on enjoying your burgers and s’mores”…

A few parks we’ve stayed at haven’t really suffered from this problem, because the sites are either so distant that your neighbors aren’t within smelling/seeing distance.  Others have separation, usually trees or bushes, so while your neighbors can probably tell what you’re doing, at least you won’t have to make uncomfortable eye contact while it’s happening.  Country and State parks are great for this, presumably because they have access to larger plots of land, and less pressure to maximize revenue.  However, private parks, especially those in popular tourist destinations, can’t afford to be so generous, and tend to pack visitors in as tight as possible.   Some sites we have stayed in were barely big enough for our RV to get the slides out on both sides.  I don’t blame them, of course.   If I ran a park, I’d probably do the same.  Chop a few feet off the width of a site, and very quickly you can pack in one or two more paying customers per row.

A photo of the RV next to some water from the front, showing all the hook-ups

RV and Hook-ups – By the water

There seems to me to be a very easy fix to this in at least 50% of cases; a top-to-tail design.  Have a central hook-up ‘pod’ between each pair of sites, and then have the RVs go in alternating directions.  There are cases this won’t work, but there are plenty that it will.  It’ll work perfectly in pull-through sites which are accessible from both sides.  It’ll work for Class A, B and C rigs in uni-directional sites.  Obviously it won’t work for Fifth Wheel and Travel Trailers in uni-directional sites, and won’t work for other rigs in cases where the layout would make backing out especially dangerous.

Obviously it’s a minor problem and more a cause of mild-embarrassment rather than anything earth shattering, but still.  I guess, when it comes down to it, we just have to remember;

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