1) If you will be using Maps, there is a limitation of 1000 Sites or Properties. The Software was designed for a small to medium sized park or property management activity (1 to 300, or so, sites). More than this will slow down the software when loading the Reservation Grid and Park Maps. We have a Customer with over 700 Sites that is using the Software, but we think this is a little too many. You need to be the judge of the Software's responsiveness if you have a large park.
2) If you are using Windows Vista, 7 or 8, the Compatibility settings MUST be set to Windows XP SP 2 or 3. The install program may set them for the Install User, but be sure that ALL User's RV Park program instances are set correctly. This should be done and verified you have done it correctly before running the program or setting things up. See HERE for more information.
3) RV Park Software does NOT interface with any other software that we are aware of, other than E-Business related applications. That is, it does NOT process Credit Cards or interface with a Cash drawer. Most Parks use a Credit Card machine to process Credit Cards. It is designed for Printing to your Default 8.5" X 11" Printer. It does NOT print to a 3" or 4" Printer.
This application was developed to provide a simple, yet powerful, tool to manage the Reservations, Billing, and Tax reporting of an RV Park, Hotel, or other Property Management. There are a few steps to setting up the application so that it reflects your RV Park, but after that, almost everything you need to run the RV Park is on a single panel.
First, use the Setup option to enter your Park Information, appropriate Taxes, and Electric kilowatt hour charge rates. NOTE: It is highly recommended you invest in an external Hard Drive to Backup RV Park automatically.
Next, enter your Site Information. Defining the Site type, size, amenities, and rental fees for Seasonal daily, weekly and monthly rates, as well as, 3, 6, and 12 month billing cycles. You can also define an Alias for the site number with alpha characters that will be displayed on the Reservation Grid window. NOTE: If you do NOT use Seasonal Rates, just enter Summer Rates and leave the Winter Rates "0".
TIP: When setting up the Sites, you can define 1 site that has most of the characteristics of the majority of your sites and use the Copy Site feature to define as many sites as needed. Please Note the Site Alias field. This field can provide a Custom feature of Alpha characters with the Site Numbers. Some Parks may rent more than one Type of "Site" like RV sites and Boat Slips. You can prefix the Alias with RV or BS and the number to start with, and the Copy Site feature will facilitate that series (example: RV001 or BS001). See Site Setup for more information.
Also, you may want to set the QuickBook Account and Type. These can be used to filter the Tax/Revenue report, or when Exporting Excel data from the Billing table.
And lastly, define Other Charges you may want to charge a Guest during their stay and determine whether or not the charges are taxable. These can be positive numbers like a late fee, or negative numbers like giving a Guest credit for some work they may have performed or a refund for something. The assumption in the application is any positive charges are revenues in and negative charges are revenues out or lost. They will be separated on reports. What isn't tracked is any discounts you use. If a Guest is affiliated with any accepted discount membership, their rent is reduced by 10% (checking a box on the Guest Panel) and the reports do not reflect it. The Other Charges can also be used as a Point of Sale tool if you are wanting to track sales of Items in a Park Store. With the use of a Barcode Scanner, it can be quick and easy to sell Items from a Store.
NOTE: If you had a Computer Based approach to managing your Park before RV Park Software, you can also use an external program to Import your Guests, Sites, and Other Charges called DataImporter. See Import Old System Information for additional information.
Once all of your Park information has been entered and you want to use the Park Maps feature, you can use the external program "MapMaker" to create your Park Map(s). See Park Maps for additional information.
The process for a Guest renting is:
1) Use the Reservation Grid and Select the Arrival thru Departure date of an open Site by dragging across the Grid and holding down the Left mouse button (or you can use the Map with Arrival and Departure Dates entered and select an open Site) ;
2) Enter a few characters of a returning Guest's name and press the Enter Key to get a List of Guests to choose from or if it is a New Guest enter the Guest's information;
3) Generate a Bill when appropriate, by entering a date the Bill will be paid through. This will be printed on your 8.5" X 11" Default Printer;
4) Mark the Guest Paid when the Bill is Paid;
5) Repeat steps 3 & 4 for as long as the Guest remains in the Park;
6) After the Last Bill has been paid, check the Guest out when they leave the park, returning the Site back into the available pool of Sites.
NOTE: Failing to "CheckOut" the Guest will cause issues on the Grid.
You can also go directly to the Guest Panel, find the Guest or enter a new Guest, enter Arrival & Departure dates, and find an available Site. The Grid or Map approach is just easier.
Entering Existing Guests
Once the RV Park is setup, using the above steps, all that remains is entering your Guests and assigning them to a Site. This is handled on a single form, the Guest Information Panel. If you already have Guests and you are setting this up for the first time, you can enter their information in the upper left portion of the panel, provide their vehicle or RV information, select their method of payment (daily/weekly/monthly/3 month/6 month/12 month), and enter their arrival and departure dates.
TIP: If this is an old Guest, remember to enter a few characters of their Name and press Enter to get a list of previous Guests.
NOTE: If this is an existing Guest, you may want to enter their arrival date as the time they last paid or their "paid through" date. This will simplify their next Billing, otherwise, the application will attempt to Bill them for previous rent.
Then press the AvailSites Button and select their site from the list. Always remember to SAVE the Guest before going to another guest, Site, or New Reservation ... or you may lose your work. Once the Guest is Saved, the Site is no longer available for those dates..
When you are ready to create a Guest Bill, double-click in the Pay Thru field on the Guest Information Panel and select the date the Guest will be paid up to. If there are "Other Charges" you need to Bill them for use the drop-down list to select up to 5 Other Charges. You may want to change the Quantities of the Charges, if so, make those changes. Look for a red Prorated piece of text just above the Form of Payment button in the lower right corner of the window. This will happen if the time frame is NOT exactly a week or 30 days for a month, etc. If you do not want the Bill to be Prorated, simply check the Do Not Prorate checkbox to the left of the Generate Bill Button. If you are billing the Guest for Electricity, make sure you have entered the Current Meter Reading in the Current Meter field on the Panel and the Bill Elect checkbox is checked. The Electric Charge will automatically be entered on the Bill. If the Guest should receive a 10% (or whatever you determined) Discount on their rent, you should make sure the Discount checkbox in the Guest Information portion of the panel is checked.
If the Billing is only for Electricity or Other Charges in between their Rental charge, use the "This is an Interim Bill" checkbox to provide Billing before their next Rental is due.
Once you are satisfied with the information on the Panel, press the Generate Bill Button and a paper form will be printed on your Default printer. Once the Bill has been printed, be sure you DO NOT make any changes to the guests information. Making changes will cause discrepancies between the Bill printed and the information being captured. You should make changes if there are things incorrect on the Printed Bill, but remember to re-print the Bill for the Guest once they are corrected.
Receiving Payment (Bill Paid)
When the Guest provides payment for the Bill, you need to press the Bill Paid Button on the Guest Information Panel. Pressing the button will set the Current Meter reading to the Last Meter reading and Pay Thru date to the Last Paid date in the guests database record, making them ready for the next period or Checkout. This button also registers the information to the Billing table for subsequent Reports.
When a Guest is ready to leave the RV Park, this button is used to release the Site. It is best to have the Bill Paid completed before using the Checkout Button. Generally, the Guest has paid their Bill and are paid up thru the date of departure. On the Guest Information form, the Current Meter field value is 0 and the Paid Thru date is blank. Then the Checkout Button can be pressed. NOTE: There are times where the Guest may leave without paying their Bill, if that is the case DO NOT use the Bill Paid Button. Doing so will falsely add revenues to the Billing table. In this case, simply press the Checkout button and pick Yes on the popup panel asking if the Bill has been paid. In this case you may also want to flag the Guest as a Do NOT Rent for future stays (remember to Save the Guest).
When making reservations, make sure the Guest Information Panel has been Cleared (use the Clear Button on the bottom of the panel). At least enter a name and phone number for the Guest Reservation. Select the type of site (Cabin, Camper, Boat, 5th Wheel, or Motorhome). Enter an Arrival and Departure Date and press the AvailSites button. A list of available sites will be provided. NOTE: If the list has other Guests on the lines, the Site is or will be used by another Guest and should be reviewed for potential conflicts. The more information you provide, the more detailed the search for available sites will be processed. If you provide the length and/or width of the RV, it will be used to determine if the site can accommodate the unit. Likewise for Water, sewer, electric, etc. Once the Site is selected, Save the Guest and the Site will be allocated for this period of time.
That pretty well covers the overview of the application. There are 2 search fields on the Guest Panel worth mentioning. The Name field in the Guest Information section is a search field, simply enter a string of characters for someone's name and press Enter. A panel will be displayed with all of the Names that match the entered string. Selecting one of the Guests from the panel will load their information (NOTE: Before doing this, be sure you saved any former Guest changes). The other search field is the Site No field in the Site Information area. Enter a Site number and the site can be retrieved. This does depending upon the situation (whether or not an entered Site is already rented or not). If the Site number entered has already been rented, you need to press Yes on the popup panel to view it or No to cancel.
NOTE: If you have entered information for a New Guest that has NOT been Saved, and you press Yes to view a Site, you will most likely loose your entered information for the New Guest not yet Saved.