Is it too soon to think about the summer? Summer is just three months away, which means that camping season is near. Camping is a wildly popular activity, and it’s estimated that more than 3 million Canadian households spent time in the great outdoors last year.

One report suggests Canadian campers are ready and eager to get out and reconnect with nature and each other this summer, with 67% saying they want to get out and camp immediately or very soon. An estimated 3.1 million Canadian households plan to go camping in 2022, and more than 500,000 plan to camp for the first time.

As an owner of one of the approximately 2,500 RV parks and campgrounds across the country, you should start preparing for your guests. That includes purchasing a campground or RV park insurance policy to protect your business.

Here are 12 campground management tips to help visitors enjoy themselves and keep both guests and your business safe:

Kids at summer camp

1. Provide electrical hookups

While many campers want to rough it, they should have access to electricity to charge their phones if they need to call someone in the event of an emergency. RV campers will also need an electrical hookup for power. You should have a professional electrician install what’s required to ensure that everything’s up to code and meets the requirements for campgrounds.

2. Install fire pits in a clear area

Roasting marshmallows over a fire is a camping tradition. You should dig a pit in an open area and surround it with stones or rocks. Providing campers with a grate will allow them to cook outside instead of inside their RV. Make sure you provide every camper with a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. Also, install fire safety sheds around the grounds if a fire gets out of hand. 

3. Offer Wi-Fi

Although the whole point of camping is to remain disconnected, Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver if there’s little to no cell reception on your campground or a landline phone isn’t nearby. Some wireless carriers allow customers to make calls over Wi-Fi, which can be useful if someone needs to call 911.

4. Have a secure spot for garbage

A campsite with secure garbage containers will help keep the wildlife away from your campers. You should consider having dog waste disposal bins and bags and remind campers to pick up after their dogs to prevent slipping hazards. Also, place signs around the grounds to make it easier for campers to find where to dispose of their trash.

5. Install slip-resistant flooring

Having washrooms for customers is a must, and showers are a plus. Having slip-resistant tiles or flooring will help prevent injuries to keep everyone safe. One option is to replace all the flooring with non-slip flooring. Another option is to use anti-slip treads or apply a non-slip solution to existing floors. 

6. Provide water and sewer hookups

RV owners would appreciate it if they could do all their washing up without using a shower on the grounds. That can help reduce the chances of having an accident. In addition, a sewer hookup will allow RV owners to dispose of any waste easily and make it less likely they’ll empty their grey and black water tanks on your grounds.

7. Make safety a priority

Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all indoor areas, have waterproof buildings and meet codes, and post warning signs about hazards on the property. Also, provide emergency services with maps and directions to the site to arrive quickly and ensure any phones on the grounds are working correctly so visitors can call for help.

8. Hire the right people

Although you’re the property owner, you need a support staff to keep things running. You may need to hire a camp director, a waterfront director, a nurse, counsellors, or maintenance staff. Who you need will depend upon the type of property, the size of the grounds, and the amenities on your site. Everyone should have first-aid training and be prepared to deal with an emergency.

9. Educate everyone

There need to be ground rules set for everyone who stays on your grounds. That means educating both staff and campers about what they can and cannot do, whether it’s informing them that swimming is only allowed when there’s a lifeguard on duty or to never wander off the campgrounds without a counsellor. The more everyone knows what the rules are; the safer everyone will be.

10. Do an annual assessment

At the start of the season, the entire campground should be inspected. Rotten wood should be replaced on decks or docks, trees that may fall should be cut down, the shoreline should be cleared of debris that may have washed up, and repairs should be made to buildings or any amenities.

11. Keep the grounds and buildings well maintained

The campground needs to be properly maintained when you have visitors. That means mowing the grass often, trimming trees and bushes, keeping trails clear, ensuring all equipment and systems work, and having the trash removed regularly. Doing so will help keep campers safe.

12. Get insured

Owners of campgrounds and summer camps need insurance. That is probably the most important tip to protect your business. Apart from commercial general liability insurance, you may need other types of coverages, including protection for equipment breakdowns, commercial property, cyber liability, product liability, legal expense, and commercial crime.

Fill out an online application to get a free quote. One of our licensed brokers will partner with you to find the insurance coverage you need at the best price, advise you on the recommended limits of coverage, and ensure your campground or RV park is adequately protected.

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About the Author: Craig Sebastiano

Craig Sebastiano is an award-winning business writer based in Toronto. He has written for a variety of financial publications and websites. He has written about several topics, including investing, insurance, real estate, mortgages, credits cards, banking, pensions, saving for retirement, and taxes.