Page 6 - Spring 2020 Travelore 49
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             Page 6 - DRVC Travelore
By : Renee Wright, MobileRVing, February 10, 2020
Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from MobileRVing at features/rv-self-park-rv-parking-route-66-missouri
Jim Turntine, owner and developer of the new RV Self- Park in Missouri, believes he has a winning concept. His fully automated RV park with 24 paved pull-through sites opened a few weeks ago just off I-44. The concept, as Turntine describes it, is designed to provide convenient, stress-free parking for RVers.
His potential customers are RV travelers who don’t need
a full resort or a camping experience. “We’re in a differ- ent time from even 10 years ago,” he explains. “People now just get on the internet and find a place. With our new system, they can go to our website, pick a space, pay for the space, drive directly to the campsite, and check in with their confirmation number. This gives them access to water, electric, sewer, even WiFi.”
Turntine bases his business model on his own extensive experience traveling in RVs. “We’re on our fifth RV in 17 years,” he says of his family. “Currently I’m driving a Thor Tuscany 42-foot tandem pusher.”
But, he says, he and his family aren’t campers. “I’m more of a transient traveler. We use our RV to travel to events or to visit family. We like to be spontaneous, just jump in the camper and leave whenever we feel like it.”
Turntine doesn’t like to boondock. “I don’t sleep well in a Wal-Mart or Flying J parking lot,” he admits, a sentiment that many RVers can agree with. “And I don’t want to be driving 5 or 6 miles off the interstate looking for a camp- ground in the dark. I don’t need a store, I don’t need a pool, I don’t need a shower house, and I don’t want to pay for a resort just to park overnight.”
He believes a large segment of the RVing public will agree with him. “People just want a level spot, well lit, a pull through that’s easy to find and get into,” he tells The Buzz. “I want to be able to see my spot, pull in and park.”
The RV Self-Park is designed for travelers who just need to get off the interstate for a while, dump their tanks, and recharge their electrical devices, in a safe, secure and easy to access location. “We’re not a campground,” Turntine emphasizes, “we’re an RV parking facility.”
Only a few weeks into the soft launch of the Self-Park, Turntine says he’s received an overwhelmingly positive response. The park’s Facebook pages rapidly built up more than 1,500 likes. The New England RV Dealers Association featured an interview with Turntine on its Facebook Live show.
At the time MobileRVing spoke with him, only three customers had so far actually stopped in the park, but that wasn’t surprising, he said, since the weather in Missouri had been sub-freezing and not many people are traveling down I-44. Besides, the light traffic has given him time to fine tune his concept.
“It allowed us to train our staff, layer in our website, and get our security cameras online,” he explains. The entire park is covered 24/7 by a series of security cameras; customers get a code that allows them to see the secu- rity footage on their phones or computers. Other codes provide access to the dumpster, WiFi and hookup bays. The utilities (water, a choice of 30 or 50 amp electric, and sewer) stay on until the paid-for time runs out. Campers also have access to a 24-hour hotline number, in case of emergencies.
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