Don’t be fooled as campers swam the wilderness this summer. Yes, these hearty souls crave a reconnection with nature but not at the expense of comfort. Witness glamping, or glamorous camping, a major trend in the UK since 2007 and now here in the US. Glampsites offer five-star amenities (concierge-made s’mores anyone?) and accommodations. Extreme? Sure, but even standard campsites, summer camps and National Parks are upping their game, offering better experiences and a commitment to environmental protection. Camping’s gone upscale so cleaning campground restrooms is more important than ever.
Not Your Grandpa’s RV Park
Recreational Vehicles sales are on the rise, with the fasted growing cohort aged 35 to 44, according to CNBC. To accommodate these younger, fitter travelers, campsites are offering amenities like free Wi-Fi, yoga classes, walking trails and bike rentals. Along with taking advantage of these upgrades, RVers are also using campsite restrooms and showers, even though their vehicle, which can cost well over $100,000, is fully equipped.
Why use communal facilities when your expensive rig comes with a private toilet and shower? The facilities are not only larger, but there’s less loading and dumping of black and gray water tanks.
Summer Camp Upgrade
Summer camp is big business, with revenues of $18 billion, according to the American Camp Association. While campers and their parents don’t expect five-star treatment, they do demand facilities look and smell clean. Filthy floors, walls and fixtures turns prospective campers away, impede repeat business and hampers fundraising efforts. Camping specialist for the YMCA, Gary Forster explains, “All those satisfaction surveys I see every year? The ones that say, ‘The bathrooms are filthy?’ If one of those camps asked me for a donation toward new facilities, I don’t think I would. If they can’t fix their biggest complaint without a new building, then maybe the campers aren’t getting all they could out of camp. Their parents aren’t either.”
National Parks Go Greener…and Leaner
National Parks face a unique set of challenges. Restrooms and showers must be cleaned with limited chemicals to protect water, plants and aquatic life, according to an EPA study. But there is less and less staff to do the work. National parks are busy and getting busier, but budget shortfalls and deferred maintenance mean staff has to do more with less.
Pack a Kaivac
With camping going upscale, why rough it with mops and buckets? An all-in-one spray-and-vac system cleans camp restrooms and showers quickly and completely. Lightweight and easy to use, the technology works with plain water, making it perfect for environmentally sensitive areas.
Click here for more ideas on cleaning campground restrooms.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.