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ArticlesBreaking Down the Cost of PMS Software for RV Park and Campground Owners

Breaking Down the Cost of PMS Software for RV Park and Campground Owners

June 12, 2024

Choosing a Property Management System (PMS) for your RV park or campground is more than just selecting a software solution; it's an investment that can significantly impact your business's bottom line. Understanding the full scope of costs involved, from upfront expenses to ongoing fees, is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your budget and operational needs.


By carefully evaluating each cost component, you can avoid unexpected expenses and ensure that the PMS you choose not only fits your financial plan but also enhances your park’s efficiency and guest satisfaction. This comprehensive approach to cost consideration could be the key to maximizing your return on investment and setting your park up for long-term success.

Download the free RV Park and Campground Reservation Systems Buyer's Guide!

The Costs of PMS software for RV Park and Campground Owners

Property Management Software costs encompass many elements including upfront expenses, ongoing subscription fees, booking fees, and potential additional charges. Upfront costs may include hardware purchases, if applicable, and any necessary customization or integration expenses. Ongoing subscription fees are typically based on the number of sites or units in your park and the level of service you require. Some systems do not charge a fee per site and only charge a booking fee, either to the park or to the guest.

It’s essential to inquire about any additional charges, such as support fees, training costs, premium features, or fees related to third-party integrations. By thoroughly assessing PMS cost considerations, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget while ensuring you have the necessary tools to manage your park efficiently.

PMS Cost Considerations

Here is an overview of the costs you need to research when choosing a new PMS for your RV park or campground. 

Upfront Costs

Upfront costs can consist of data migration, set up, installation, and training. Costs can range from Free to thousands of dollars depending upon the size, complexity and operation of your park. Be sure to understand the upfront costs and if they are refundable.

System Costs

System costs consist of ongoing operational expenses for using the system and taking reservations. PMS providers utilize different methods. One example would be a monthly SaaS (Software as a Service) fee–Systems who engage this pricing model usually have a cost per site fee. If you own a 100-site park, you would pay a certain dollar amount per site, per month.

Booking Fees

Booking Fees are charges applied to each reservation made through the PMS. Booking fees vary significantly among providers and can be structured in different ways. Some PMS providers charge the park a flat fee per booking, while others may charge a percentage of the reservation’s total value. Alternatively, some providers pass the booking fee directly to the guest. It’s crucial to understand how these fees are applied and who is responsible for paying them. Consider how booking fees might impact your pricing strategy and guest experience.

Premium Features

Premium Features: Many PMS providers offer basic functionality in their standard packages, with advanced or premium features available at an additional cost. These features can include enhanced reporting tools, advanced marketing integrations, dynamic pricing capabilities, and more. Assess which premium features are truly beneficial for your park’s operation and weigh their costs against the potential benefits. Remember, what’s considered a premium feature can vary widely between providers, so it’s important to compare what is included in the base price.

Third-Party Integrations

Third-Party Integrations, such as online travel agencies (OTAs), accounting software, or CRM systems, can significantly enhance the functionality of your PMS. However, these integrations often come with additional fees. Some PMS providers may charge a one-time integration fee, while others might have ongoing costs associated with maintaining the integration. Evaluate the value these integrations bring to your business and consider whether the costs are justified by the efficiencies or additional revenue they may generate.

Download the free RV Park and Campground Reservation Systems Buyer's Guide!

Why it Matters: Researching the Costs of a PMS

In the business of RV parks and campgrounds, having a clear understanding of PMS costs is not just a matter of financial prudence but a strategic imperative. By meticulously assessing the various cost components, you can make a decision that not only aligns with your budget but also supports your operational goals and enhances guest experiences.

Investing the time to thoroughly analyze upfront expenses, ongoing fees, and potential additional charges will help you avoid financial surprises and ensure that your PMS contributes positively to your business's growth and profitability. Ultimately, knowing your costs upfront empowers you to choose a PMS that provides value and supports your park’s success in the long term.

To start your research, download Park Vendor Review's free Reservation Systems Buyer's Guide.


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