If you’ve been in the RV world for years, you’ve seen prices fluctuate based on seasons and holidays. But you probably haven’t seen dynamic pricing like this before.
You’re wondering how much longer you’re going to have to pay $50 per night when you used to pay $35 per night just two years ago.
Let’s look at the concept of dynamic pricing and what’s happening in the RV industry.
What Is Dynamic Pricing?
Dynamic pricing is a price change that reflects supply and demand. For example, Mondays are the slowest days for restaurants. Many restaurants aren’t even open on Mondays.
However, those that are open usually offer some kind of special deal or special pricing on Mondays. This dynamic pricing is an attempt to get more customers to come in to eat on Mondays. The restaurant owner believes lowering the price on a few dishes to entice more customers is better than holding steady at the normal prices and only welcoming a handful of visitors.
On the other hand, dynamic pricing can also increase. Beachfront hotels often have higher rates in the summer than they do in the winter. Disney theme park tickets are often cheaper in January and February than in June and July.
This dynamic pricing reflects supply and demand.
How Does Dynamic Pricing Affect RVers?
Dynamic pricing has a huge effect on RVers. When camping in the off-season, nightly rates will be lower. When searching for availability on a holiday weekend, RVers may have trouble finding a campsite. Or they may find campsites, but the prices are sky-high.
These campground owners have taken advantage of dynamic pricing and raised their rates. The campground owners who haven’t used dynamic pricing probably didn’t charge enough.
In the RV lifestyle, dynamic pricing means identifying what campers are willing to pay. Jellystone campgrounds have considerably higher rates than a little campground off the interstate. This company has identified what campers are willing to pay for. With so many amenities and the kid-friendly atmosphere, many RVing families are willing to pay more. If the little campground off the interstate tried to charge $100 per night, it would remain empty.
This also means making reservations in advance is almost a necessity.
You can’t just pull up at a campground at 3:30 p.m., ask for what’s available, and pull into your site for the night. You’re going to have to plan more while the demand is hot.
RVers also see dynamic pricing when purchasing an RV. If the demand is high, the prices will be high. If the demand is low, the prices will be low. Dealers and manufacturers identify what consumers are willing to pay in a certain year or time period and lower or raise their prices to reflect that supply and demand.
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How Much Can Prices Change With Dynamic Pricing?
Campground rates can change considerably. Off-season nightly rates may be around $25-$30, whereas peak season nightly rates may increase to $45-$50.
However, it’s important to note that not all campgrounds use dynamic pricing. Some have one rate, and it’s good for weekdays, weekends, summer, winter, or any time of the year.
When searching for an RV to purchase — new or used — you’ll find dynamic pricing. When dealers can’t keep RVs on the lot because they’re selling quickly, they know their prices aren’t high enough. So they raise their prices to gain more profit, knowing that RVs are still in high demand. Your friend could have purchased a new 2018 Coachman Chaparral fifth wheel for $55,000 in 2018. But when you decide it’s time to also get a Coachman Chaparral a few years later, the price is now $65,000. You’re buying at a time when RVs are in high demand.
Pro Tip: Trying to decide if you’re paying the right amount for your RV? Discover How Much Do RVs Cost?
Is Dynamic Pricing at RV Campgrounds New?
Dynamic pricing at RV campgrounds isn’t new. Pricing has always reflected supply and demand. The prices now are just increasing so quickly that campers are starting to take notice.
With so many new campers, RV campgrounds are raising their rates to gain more profit and reflect the increased demand.
Can Campers Expect Dynamic Pricing to Stick Around?
As a result of dynamic pricing, campgrounds are learning which types of campers are willing to pay those high rates. They may or may not keep rates sky-high depending on how campers are treating their campgrounds. Do they want to continue to charge nightly rates that only newer campers are willing to pay? Or do they want to try to entice RVers who have been traveling for years by offering lower rates?
Another consideration is customer satisfaction ratings.
If campers pay an increased rate but then complain about it on social media, campground owners notice. They don’t want to raise prices so high that they lose out on providing an enjoyable experience. They have to find the sweet spot between profit and satisfied customers.
If the demand remains high, campers can expect dynamic pricing to stay. Why would a campground owner charge less and receive less profit if campers are willing to pay more?
The best advice for campers looking to avoid paying ridiculous nightly rates is to travel in the off-season and stay several nights. Many campgrounds offer discounted weekly or monthly rates.
Dynamic Pricing Is Here to Stay
Dynamic pricing isn’t anything new. Businesses have used dynamic pricing to increase profits during times of high demand. Black Friday is a great example of how dynamic pricing has been used for years. Companies that don’t offer great deals on Black Friday usually don’t have great sales revenue compared to other companies that do offer those deals. So dynamic pricing isn’t always an increase. But if you’re an RVer wondering if you’ll be paying higher prices for nightly rates for the foreseeable future, the answer is yes. The demand is high. So are the prices.
The question is, are you willing to pay the price? Tell us in the comments below!
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