We were in Tennessee last week, visiting parks in and around the Smoky Mountains. While driving, we turned a corner and saw a picturesque valley surrounded by the grandeur of the mountain range.

We also saw what was an RV park under construction. There we no amenity buildings, but many of the sites were laid out on a waterfront area near a babbling brook and under highly coveted shade trees.

As soon as we stepped out, I asked my travel companions, “Do you see what’s wrong?” After several guesses, no one was right.

To the untrained eye, the sites looked fine, but I knew they were going to have issues.

The first problem was the placement of the picnic table pad. Most well designed sites have the pad located in the area where the RV awning will create shade over the picnic table area. This particular park laid it out so they are at the back corner of the site-far from where the awning will unfurl and in direct sunlight. No one will use the pad in this location. It was a waste of money and will cause a poor guest experience.

Secondly, the utilities were placed so close to the pad that anyone with a slide on that side is not going to be unable to open it. They will hit the pedestal or have to orient their RV in a way that will make other utilities hard to reach. Again, poorly designed, expensive to fix, and hard to use.

I am always amazed at those who build parks without a trained RV Park land planner. Our team, in the past month, have rescued no less than three major parks with bad design. One was fully permitted and ready to break ground-when thankfully-he had someone look at it and tell him it was all wrong. He called us, and we are now redesigning his park.

DO NOT CUT CORNERS when it comes to planning and building your park. If you do not pay now-you WILL PAY LATER. The AOS team has designed award winning and guest friendly parks all across the US-we know what we are doing and will not waste your time with bad design.