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RV Site Value: What is the Campsite Value to Working RVers?

Your RV site value isn't necessarily the posted rate. The campsite value varies according to who is using it, and why. Determining what the campsite is worth, and to whom, can be tricky. Here's help.

If you are bartering -- trading your labor for a campsite -- the site has a value for tax purposes. Sources tend to agree that the value of the site is the fair market value. That's often defined as the regular or posted rate the campground owner charges customers for a similar site.

That may or may not be the site's true value to you.

The real RV site value to you may be what you would have paid for rent if you didn't have that site. You may have chosen to stay at a much less expensive park. Or, you might have boondocked in the dessert. Or, parked your RV in a friend's driveway. In those instances, the site may have had very little or no value to you. You may figure the value of the RV site is the amount you have left in your pocket (or bank account) that you wouldn’t have if you hadn't stayed there.

But other factors come into play.

Take for example a campground in the Florida Keys that charges $2100 per month. That is the actual rate I found posted on a campground's website, when I did a search for "florida keys campground." That is the discounted rate they charge RVers who stay for three months. I used that figure because that is a realistic time for a work camper to stay on assignment. Would you ever pay that?

You might not be able to even consider paying $1000 or $2000 per month for a camp site. Even if you wanted to. But, if you'd like to experience it, you might be willing to do a work-for-your-site exchange. It would let you stay in an area that you could otherwise not afford to stay in. It would let you experience an RVing style that you otherwise wouldn't. That experience is worth something more than what you would have normally paid for a campground.

Perhaps working for your campsite allows you to stay in the area where your grandchildren live. RV parks may be in high demand there, with full occupancy. If the RV site is part of your compensation package, you know you have the site for the entire season. And, you may be able to entertain your grandchildren on your days off, having them stay with you at the park, at no extra cost.

Maybe you want to experience a state or national park for an extended time. Many of them restrict paying customers to a 10 to 14 day stay. One way to get around that limitation is to do volunteer work for your site. What is it worth to spend an entire season at Yellowstone?

The RV site value could be more to you than the posted rate. In situations where working for your site allows you to do something you otherwise couldn't do, there may be no way to assign an exact monetary figure.

On the other hand, the RV site value could be less.

If you have a self-contained recreational vehicle, you may not need electricity or other utility hook-ups. Paid electricity may be part of the site's stated value. But, if you have a good sized solar system, you may never use the park's shore power. Cable TV may be included. But, if you don't watch television, that doesn't add campsite value to you.

It's easy to look at simple formulas, but they don't take each person's needs into account. WiFi at no additional cost is highly valuable to some. If you have an air card or some other means of Internet access, you may or may not use the park's WiFi. If you don't use a computer online, that utility doesn't increase the RV site value to you.

Another aspect to consider is that the value of you staying on the job premises may be to your employer and not to you. Some positions require it. That is certainly apt to affect the tax value. It may or may not affect your perceived value of the RV site.

Go from this RV Site Value page to the section with other general articles about working while RVing.

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