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Business Protection Bulletin

Campground Liability: Maintenance Is Everything

By November 4, 2016No Comments

1611-bb-1-1A campground isn’t exactly the same thing as being out in the wild. Out in the wild, you’re on your own. You’re not going to find public restrooms and cookout grills a mile into a national forest. Campgrounds offer a few basic amenities in order to make that trip into the wild a little more comfortable. That’s why we don’t mind paying a few bucks to spend the night in one, and that’s why we expect the proprietors to carry some form of campground insurance.

If you run a campground, your customers are going to be out there playing with fire and using hatchets and pocketknives. Some element of danger is to be expected on a camp site, in truth, it’s part of the lure of a camping trip, getting out of your safety zone, putting yourself into a place where you’re going to need to rely on your own abilities. But, on a campground that you’ve paid your ten, fifteen dollars for, you do expect some sort of accountability. So in order to ensure that you don’t need to collect on your liability policy any time soon, what sort of safety should your visitors be able to expect?

The basic rule of thumb is: Whatever you offer, you have to make sure it’s in proper working condition. If you offer RV hookups at your campground, routine maintenance is a must. A careless camper has only themselves to blame, but septic backups and faulty water and electric supply are issues that rest entirely on the shoulders of the provider.

Campers might not mind a campsite with no public restroom, but if they walk into one to find a hornet’s nest, they might hold you responsible for the stings. If you don’t provide barbecue grills, campers can dig a fire pit, but if you do offer a grill, and the coals fall right out a hole rusted into the bottom and it starts a fire, that’s on you. It’s all about letting your visitors know what they’re getting so that they can plan their visit accordingly.

If something is out of order, make sure your visitors know that it’s undergoing repairs or cleaning or maintenance, post it to your Facebook and anywhere else you’re listed. Campers aren’t the most high-maintenance demographic, they don’t expect anything more than what you’re willing to promise them, so don’t promise them anything you can’t deliver, and they won’t ask anything of you that you don’t have available.