Nomads, wanderers, and rolling stones share one thing in common — a drive to explore the world around them. Some of them also yearn for a simpler life, where experiences trump possessions. As an RV park operator, you regularly come across these freedom seekers in their RVs, but more of them are turning to vans for both transportation and housing.
The amenities you already provide to campers are also well-suited for van lifers, but what else can you do to attract this segment?
Let’s take a look at the van-living trend, other amenities you may consider adding, and how all-in-one RV park reservation software can help you attract van lifers.
Van Life Basics
Having opted out of renting or owning a home, van lifers live on the road in a van. Living in a van seems self-explanatory, but there are a few things you need to know.
Van Lifer Priorities
Here are some of the primary reasons individuals select the van-life lifestyle; keep these in mind as you develop a strategy to attract them.
Freedom. Doing what they want, when and where they want is the fundamental core of van life. They’ve freed themselves from rent, mortgage, and many other facets of everyday life.
Minimalism. Minimalism is a priority for van lifers and it commonly extends intentionally to leaving no trace and reducing carbon footprints. Van lifers also tend to lean toward sustainable practices in the business they frequent.
Simplicity. With freedom and minimalism, nomadic van dwellers often live a simple life focused on what truly matters to them — experiencing life.
Top Amenities for Van Lifers
When you think about what campers typically look for in an RV park, there aren’t many differences from what a van lifer may choose. However, because of their strong priorities, you may want to add or upgrade these amenities:
Fast and stable internet. Connectivity has benefits for all of your campers but for those living or working out of a van, it is critical to their livelihood.
Laundry facilities. Other campers gather up laundry to take home, but many van dwellers specifically reserve sites for access to laundry facilities.
Coworking space. Van lifers may also be digital nomads and appreciate a dedicated workspace outside of their van.
Sustainable products and practices. If you haven’t yet brought your RV park into the sustainable age, this is a great time to do so with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, eco-friendly campground practices, and championing recycling.
Using RV Park Reservation Software To Meet Van Lifer Needs
In addition to offering desired amenities, there are three needs you need to meet to attract van lifers.
Mobile-friendly RV Park Software
Living on the road leads to a variety of challenges, and van lifers need a plan. Whether they are researching their next destination or reserving a campsite, they rely on mobile devices, especially since the majority of those who consider van life are tech-savvy millennials. Ultimately, every digital interaction with your guests should be mobile-friendly.
Finding and booking. When van dwellers are planning their next destination search, they will search for RV parks in the area and book online. Whether direct booking or through another channel, your website needs to be mobile responsive.
Communication options. Freedom is important in van life, and that includes being able to choose how to interact with the world around them. Selecting all-in-one RV park software that enables seamless communication by email, SMS text messaging, and a guest portal gives them those options.
Contactless check-in. Life on the road can be accompanied by unexpected travel delays, and van lifers need the flexibility for off-hours check-in. Although you could offer 24/7 staffing, you can put power in the hands of van-dwelling campers while also avoiding unnecessary wages.
Optimizing Cash for You and Van Lifers
As a business owner, you want to increase revenue. Van lifers, on the other hand, often choose the lifestyle to save money. Fortunately, the right RV campground software can help you strike a balance between the two.
Off-peak lower prices. Cash-conscious travelers often schedule their travel to take advantage of lower RV park prices. With a dynamic pricing tool, you can set business rules to respond to supply and demand. Notably, your rules can define lower rates during off-peak season to attract van lifers.
Loyalty and rewards programs. Travelers in general are more budget-savvy today, and this is even more true of van dwellers. A recent survey showed that 60% of travelers save money by increasing their value per dollar with discounts and loyalty programs. Establishing a loyalty program to incentivize longer stays and upgrades can deliver revenue you wouldn’t otherwise have seen while providing savings for this — and other — segments of campers.
Make It Personal
The digital world isn’t nearly as impersonal as it used to be. Today, businesses regularly offer personalization. With van life campers, personalization is even more important, especially considering nearly 40% of van lifers live alone.
With robust RV park reservation software, you can learn more about your van life campers through surveys and analyzing property management reports. That, in turn, lets you enhance their camper experience with personalization, such as a personalized guest portal and customized communications.
Discover 2023 Millennial and Gen Z RV Trends
As an RV park operator, it is important to stay updated on trends as they change.
Van life is one trend that seems to have staying power, but what are other key trends and preferences of millennials and Gen Z? That’s why we asked millennials and Gen Zers about their thoughts on camping.
Download the RMS 2023 State of the Industry Report today to meet your campers' needs.