Irrespective of whether you’re buying an established park or building one from scratch, a properly designed campground is known to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As such, it is important you make the right decisions to guarantee your campground starts off on the right footing. You need to understand that the quality of experience your campers will enjoy will most definitely be impacted by the design of the campsite and available site amenities.
Truth be told, the choices or decisions you make at this point of the business will be the difference between your campground drawing in the right crowd and attaining good success or not.
As such, it is recommended you take your time to visit other parks and get a good understanding of what they’re doing well. You can take notes, snap photos, as well as properly evaluate their design. Take a good look at the layout and spacing of their sites, the location of their office, or the ratio of RV slips to tent spots.
When designing your campground, ensure to comprehend the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards and Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) to ensure you have appropriate construction details and layout criteria.
If possible, it is highly recommended you reach out or work with design professionals like a registered landscape architect or engineer.
Steps to Design a Campground
1. Site Selection
You need to choose the right and suitable location for your campground. You should take into account factors such as accessibility, closeness to attractions, natural surroundings, as well as zoning regulations. Also, verify that the land you intend to utilize is zoned for campground use.
2. Market Research
Once you’ve found the ideal location for your campground, it is important you carry out extensive market research to weigh the demand for your campground.
Also, research the demographic you intend to serve as well as how they will cope with coming to your location. Don’t also forget to weigh the amenities or features that would align with their needs.
3. Legal and Regulatory Requirements
There are legal requirements that come with constructing a campground in the United States. While these requirements will vary depending on your location in the United States, it is important you research and understand the local, state, and federal regulations that have to do with campgrounds. You might as well be expected to obtain permits and approvals from varying authorities.
4. Master Plan
After you have done the research and evaluations noted above, put together a well-detailed master plan that describes the layout of the campground. Note that this will have to encompass the campsite locations, roads, utilities, as well as any other common facilities.
5. Amenities and Facilities
Also extensively consider the sort of amenities and facilities you intend to offer, which will most often include restrooms, showers, a camp store, picnic areas, and recreational activities. Don’t forget to take into account the needs and preferences of your intended campers.
6. Environmental Considerations
One thing you will want to avoid when designing your campground is being on the wrong side of the law. As such, it is pertinent you carefully evaluate the environmental impact of your campground. Also, make certain that it stays in line with environmental regulations and complies with all requisite sustainable practices.
At this point, consider and plan for all vital infrastructure, which will most often include water supply, sewage disposal, electricity, and roadways. This is where you will want to consult or collaborate with engineers and utility companies to come up with the right designs.
You need to design individual campsites at this point; however, it is recommended you take your time to extensively consider their size, layout, as well as any unique features. Be sure to have the right and adequate spacing between sites for privacy and safety.
9. Common Areas
Campgrounds tend to require common areas that help to bolster socialization and serve as the ideal place for communal activities.
As such, you will want to create communal spaces such as a clubhouse, fire pits, and trails. Don’t forget to design these spaces taking comfort and safety into consideration.
10. Safety Measures
As the owner of such a beautiful location, it falls on you to guarantee the safety of your campers. Owing to that, make sure to put in place the right safety measures, which will most often include fire safety protocols, first-aid stations, and clear signage.
11. Budgeting and Financing
With everything noted above, you will want to come up with a budget for the project, such as land acquisition, construction, and ongoing operational costs. If you don’t have adequate capital, this is where you have to seek financing through loans, grants, or investors.
12. Construction and Development
Once you have the right information and the resources necessary to construct your campground, leverage the services and expertise of reputable contractors, and don’t forget to monitor the construction of the campground to verify that it corresponds with your master plan.
Campground Floor Plan and Layout Tips
A well-designed campground will most definitely take into account the comfort, functionality, and safety of campers, as well as the aesthetics of the site. Nevertheless, below are vital tips to keep in mind when designing your campground floor plan and layout.
Site Spacing and Privacy
You need to make sure there is adequate spacing between campsites to ensure that campers can have privacy as well as a sense of seclusion. According to industry experts, the benchmark is a minimum of 15-20 feet between sites.
Don’t forget to make use of natural features such as trees, shrubs, or even small barriers to demarcate the sites, especially since they will help to enhance privacy.
Zoning and Segmentation
To guarantee a top-class experience, it is recommended you divide your campground into various zones to accommodate various camping styles, including more prevalent ones like tent camping, RV sites, and cabins.
Also take into account the possibility of grouping similar types of campsites together, as it will ensure you have areas that precisely cater to specific camper preferences.
Amenities and Facilities Placement
There are numerous amenities you can install in your campground. Such amenities can include restrooms, showers, a camp store, picnic areas, and recreational activities.
However, while these amenities are very necessary, where they are placed and how they fit into the general layout of the campground matters more.
As such, it is recommended that you strategically position amenities like restrooms, showers, and communal gathering areas to be easily accessible from all corners of the Campground.
Don’t forget to take into account the wind direction and site placement to ensure that you can lessen smoke from campfires affecting neighboring sites.
Traffic Flow and Accessibility
To ensure that you can design a campground that will easily attract the right crowd, don’t forget to create clear pathways or roads within the campground to properly direct campers and provide access to vehicles, including emergency services. Make certain that roads and pathways are wide enough to contain campers and their vehicles safely.
Utilities are very important in a campground especially since your property will serve as a temporary abode for your campers.
They can be made available in a wide range of combinations and locations depending on the requirements and regulations in your location as well as the site conditions.
Anywhere electricity is provided, ensure it is in a covered and grounded electrical box, attached to a post, or in a manufactured assembly that features a ground fault interrupter.
In the case of water, just ensure it is within the campsite; however, it shouldn’t be within five feet of the roadway. Don’t forget to add a water hydrant or spigot as well as a splash basin to the water source.