Bathhouse design

Discussion in 'Park Management' started by THC&R, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. THC&R

    THC&R
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    We are in the beginning process of building a campground.
    We will have full hook up sites, but since this will be in upstate NY, we also have seasonal sites RV's that will need to have water shut off in the winter.
    Couple ideas are to have individual stalls, accessible from the outside with a key/key pad to get into. Has shower, toliet, & sink.
    Or
    2. Walk in and have stalls in there. Stalls for showers and stalls for toilets. Then just pick a stall. This is probably the most common one.

    We do plan on having radiant heat in the floor and our utilities (hot water heater, etc) also in this building.

    Any thoughts or suggestions for building a very user friendly bathhouse?
     
  2. NYDutch

    NYDutch
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    Please include one or two family/handicapped bathrooms that are equipped to accommodate wheelchairs, have shower seats or benches and an assist railing next to the toilet. A bench for dressing and hooks for hanging clothing, etc. are also helpful.
     
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  3. Bama Camper

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    If you can swing it (because of the increased construction costs), I think most campers appreciate a separate private room as described in your first example. Eliminate the toilet in the individual shower room if you need to. The regular men's and women's restrooms would have toilets / urinals with privacy screens and changing stations. I agree with NYDutch, shower rooms need benches and lots of hooks for clothing and towels. Check the ADA website for handicap accessibility and requirements.

    Unless your situation specifically calls for it, you may want to consider not putting individual keypads on the outside of each shower room, just a deadbolt on the inside that operates an "occupied" flag visible from the outside. I've seen many facilities like this and they seem to work well. Motion activated lights are nice, but make sure they are adjusted correctly not to leave anyone in the dark! No push button showers! Lots of ventilation for those hot summer days (if no AC).
     
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  4. BankShot

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    Hi THC&R and welcome to the forum - - -

    We rarely use the restroom/shower facilities in the parks we stay at as we are fully self contained and have no real need to do so. Especially with COVID19 infiltrating the country. But at those times when we do use them I have found that having a private area to shower in is a very nice feature. And, as has been mentioned, a bench to sit on and put clothing, and shaving gear, as well as a hook or two to hang shirts or jackets on. Also, nothing more disconcerting than to walk into restroom facilities that haven't been cleaned or maintained for a while. When that has happened I simply turn around and walk back to the motorhome.and wait my turn while the co-pilot does her thing. I could name a few RV parks that set the example for how a restroom should look and also be very useful but won't, However if you care to PM me I'll be more than happy to give you the names of some that you may want to take a look at to get some ideas from, etc. Your call on doing that....................

    We wish you well in your new venture and that a lot of RVers will be reading this thread and stopping by once you are open for business...............

    All the very best, BankShot.............(aka Terry)
     
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  5. Texasrvers

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    I prefer the one room concept with toilet, sink, and shower. It is just nice to have everything you need all together along with the privacy factor. Then cost permitting, you might want to have a men's and a ladies' restroom with just urinals/toilet stalls in case the shower rooms are all in use or when all the facilities are not needed. Wherever it is located, definitely have a bench and lots of hooks in the shower area. If there are to be several showers in one room, it is really nice for each shower entrance to have a locking door (not just a curtain) and a shelf in the shower itself to sit soap, and shampoo bottles, etc. is very handy. And by the way, the radiant heat in the floors sounds wonderful.
     
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  6. ctravelgal01

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    Prior to Covid-19 I always used public facilities and tried to include this information in my reviews. My biggest beef is not having enough hooks to hang your clothes and towels; make sure they are heavy duty so your towel/clothes don't end up on the floor. A bench versus a chair in the shower area is also ideal. Best of luck to you! Hope to be using public facilities soon as my motorhome bathroom is taking a beating with so much use this summer.
     
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  7. newkcmoedoe

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    This will not be popular with the RV public, but my experience as a park owner is the more traditional setup of a men's and women's facilities is much better from a park management point of view. Individual restrooms invite a bunch of problems. I have long time friends who own a neighboring park with individual restrooms and they have had a laundry list of issues that never happen in my park. Those issues include children using the restroom as a playground. A homeless individual locked themselves in the restroom which required the police and a locksmith. Pets being groomed and bathed was a semi-common occurrence. People occupying the restroom for long periods of time as they cut and color their own hair. People leaving an awful mess behind and then locking the door on the way out so as they could distance themselves from the mess. Community restrooms makes security and overseeing of the facilities much, much easier.
    That doesn't, by the way, mean you should skimp on the facilities. We had full tile on the floors and walls. We had granite benches. We had the best toilets, sinks, showerheads, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper holders and everything else. The showers and toilets had solid doors with slide locks (never, ever use only curtains, that is a security and privacy issue). They were heated, air conditioned and extremely well ventilated (ventilation is very important). We required all employees to inspect the entire facility whenever they used the toilet or washroom and had a schedule of maintenance we firmly followed.
    Couple of other suggestions, use the commercial sized jumbo toilet paper dispensers, people won't "borrow" them for use in their RV and the dispensers have a primitive lock to further dissuade tampering. Use motion sensing lights, motion sensing paper towel dispensers and when choosing a paper towel dispenser you will save a bunch of money if you find one that uses generic paper towel rolls. (there is at least one brand that uses the computer printer model, they basically give you the dispenser, but it only works on their branded paper towels which cost about three times more than your basic brown, so in the long term you lose on that deal). Same with soap dispensers, check the cost of the refills before you commit. Don't buy fancy shower heads with multiple functions, just get a good single with good water flow (flow is better than pressure, people generally hate those extreme water saver types that blast you with needle-like streams that actually contain very little water.
    As for shelving and seating, hooks and the like, we found that having a minimum amount is better than too many. Again, sorry general public, but from a business point of view you don't want to make it easy for people too comfortable and then move in. Turnover is key to making 4 or 5 showers and toilets per gender work when in a park with 100s of guests. The last thing you want is people using your heated and cooled restrooms as an office for the day while guests needing to use the toilet are left bouncing around outside waiting. Sometimes it is easy to forget that what is best for the park isn't always what is optimal from a guest's point of view. Compromise is often the best solution.
     
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  8. NYDutch

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    I see nothing in your extensive write-up about accommodating handicapped patrons. And especially handicapped patrons that require assistance bathing. I guess those folks are bad for business too...
     
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  9. Texasrvers

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    Newkcmoedoe, you have presented a side of campground bathrooms that I (and probably others) have never thought about, and you have some valid points. Privacy is a big concern with me, and individual bathrooms provide that. However, I don't have a big problem with shared facilities (one for men and one for women) as long as the individual showers along with an adjacent dressing area come with locking doors. I can deal with curtains only, but I have seen (and walked out of) bathrooms that have shared dressing areas, and there was even one place that didn't even have curtains for the showers. They hadn't just been pulled down either. That's how the room was built--one big open shower/sink area.This may have provided some advantages for cleaning and maintenance, but if that's the kind of facility I'm looking for, we can just go to a high school gym locker room. I'm certainly not saying your bathrooms were like this; in fact, they sound very lovely, and I'm sure I would have been very pleased with them. As for handicapped accommodations in shared facilities, I have seen many facilities that have at least one large shower equipped for this. One or two parks have even had an individual handicapped bathroom which I assume is better at providing the adequate space and privacy needed for the handicapped person and the caregiver. I also recall that there was one that was kept locked and then a key/code was issued to guests that needed it. This helped insure that the facility was clean and available when needed. So as you said a little compromise goes a long way.
     
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  10. newkcmoedoe

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    Don't believe I wrote anything, pro or con, regarding handicapped accessibility. For the record, our facilities were 100% compliant with ADA. We have handicap accessible and compliant showers, sinks, restrooms, mirrors, toilet paper holders, etc. Furthermore our doors, ramps, and additional public areas all meet those requirements of the ADA, verified by an annual assessment we pay for. No where does the ADA require private handicap facilities, family restrooms, or any other accommodation beyond what we offer. We are very upfront when asked about what we do and do not offer. If a private restroom and shower is important and you ask if we have such facilities, we will tell you that is not an amenity we offer. If you then choose to stay elsewhere, you will not be the first person to choose another park due to an amenity they offer that we do not.
     
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  11. NYDutch

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    Ok, it's good to see that you're at least meeting the minimum ADA standards.
     
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  12. newkcmoedoe

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    There is no "minimum" standard, there is only one set of regulations, so you either meet them or you do not. If you are implying that a business should somehow create additional amenities for the disabled, just what would those amenities be? Should the park be required to provide bath tubs for guests who feel they would be better served by that amenity over a shower? Should the park be required to provide a lap pool for the exclusive usage of guests who require such a facility for exercise or rehabilitation? No matter what amenity or level of service a park (or other lodging facility) provides there will be a person who has a handicap or medical condition that would require a higher level of service. That is why the ADA has specificity to their requirements and there is a reasonableness test to be applied to compliance.
     
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  13. NYDutch

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    I see nothing in the ADA that prohibits going above and beyond their regulations. Should private family/handicapped bathroom facilities be required for instance? No, but it's a feature that numerous private and public parks have found worthwhile providing both to accommodate their older clientele as well as to attract younger families. If your business model doesn't see an acceptable ROI from providing those facilities, that's your business. It's my business to patronize those businesses that do go the "extra mile" to accommodate a broader spectrum of public.
     
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  14. newkcmoedoe

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    It is certainly your right to use any criteria you wish when choosing a lodging facility. Over the years we have served tens of thousands of guests and have had other potential guests not choose our property for a multitude of reasons. Potential guests have chosen go elsewhere because we don't have a pool, because we don't allow campfires, because we don't have a certain channel available on our cable TV system. Yet in all the years I cannot recall a single instance where a guest inquired about the accessibility of our restrooms and showers and then told us they needed to find another option because our restrooms were not family style. It may very well happen, but it surely isn't an amenity that if added would increase our profitability. What I find personally offensive is the subtle implication that because we don't offer a family style restroom we are somehow discriminating against the disabled. If not offering that style restroom is discriminatory, then I guess we practice religious discrimination since we do not offer the Catholic Channel on our Cable system and we are racists because our signage is only written in English. And don't forget we are also against animal rights because we actively discourage the local wildlife from eating at the buffet that is our flower beds and baskets.
     
  15. docj

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    It's all too easy to criticize a business for not providing an amenity, but every added amenity costs $$ and the typical small business runs on a tight enough budget that major capital outlays such as family bathrooms have to be justified on a cost and rate of return basis. IMHO if a business complies with the law that is all that can be "expected" of them. Anything beyond that falls into the "nice to have" category and customers are free to decide which, if any, of the nice to have amenities are important to them.

    The amenities list used by this website contains many features that few parks have and not all that many of our users care about. But if that amenity is important to you, having it may make a world of difference. If, for example, you're traveling with your horse finding a park with a horse camp could be rather important even though most users won't care one way or the other. Therefore, I will bring NYDutch's comments to the attention of the site management to see if "family bathrooms/showers" can be added to the list of amenities.
     
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  16. Janet H

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    Regardless of whether you have individual bathrooms or the more typical multi-use variety design matters. here's my list:

    PET PEEVE: Poorly designed toilet stalls where TP holders obstruct knee's, elbows or shoulders (we're girls - we need a little working room). Often the stall is plenty big but the stainless steel wall warts that hold tp rolls and trash receptacle effectively make them 18 inches narrower. Add a small shelf on the wall above and behind the toilet for handbags or toilet kit.

    Shower stalls need a shelf out of the spray area and several hooks; also out of the spray area. They need to have floors that drain well and are easily cleaned and for heavens sake - no nasty mildewed shower curtains. Consider that there may be a toddler in the stall with an adult. Larger is better BUT keep escape routes small. I once had my 2 year old bolt out of a park shower while I was covered in shampoo. He went under the door (naked) and then proceeded to crawl under adjacent stalls to say hello.

    Shelf above sinks for toiletries are a nice for toilet bag.

    A simple hard bench in main part of bathroom for kids to sit on or if there is a line, for those waiting.

    Trash cans - several please. Put one at the door as well. People use paper towels to open doors and then need to dispose of them.

    Finally, thanks for asking, doing the research and finding out what is valued and reasonable. :)
     
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  17. mdcamping

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    I was reading this thread a week ago while I was at state park in MD, figured I would take a couple of piks. Because we travel with a small TT we will generally use the showers that is provided by the campground. The state campground here 3 yrs ago replaced all the showers/bathrooms and by far is the best we have seen so far by a state campground. On the bottom pik note the small shelf about 5' up where you can put soap & stuff on. Large bench in changing stall to sit on, plenty of hooks in changing area including the door hooks you can see my stuff hanging on. Also of note the shower floor was pitched slightly to the drain, this helped keep the water on the floor on changing stall side down to a minimum

    The top pik in front of the showers you can just see another long bench and in the very back I believe is the handicap shower.

    "Most important" every day they shut down the place for a cleaning and every time we went in everything looked clean!! Made us feel better with the covid situation


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. NYDutch

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    I'm not implying anything, I'm just saying what amenities my wife and I, as well as many of our senior friends, find desirable. If you choose not offer those amenities in your park, that's certainly your decision to make. I can say thought, that many of us pass along the names of parks that have the features we prefer and will select them over others when there's a choice. If a feature helps fill empty sites, then obviously it does help your bottom line, but measuring that value admittedly can be difficult. A guest may not ask about those features ahead of time, but finding them after arrival or not may well determine if that guest will return again or recommend the park to others. We don't feel discriminated against just because a park doesn't have handicapped facilities that are usable by us, but we also may not return if another area park does have those facilities. And likely you'll never know why we don't return or recommend your park to friends in similar circumstances. I don't expect you to change your park just to accommodate my wife and I, but I do hope THC&R will give due consideration to the features that will work best to draw their intended clientele and keep them coming back.
     
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  19. newkcmoedoe

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    If you do not let a park know why you are not returning and not recommending that park how would they know what amenities, upgrades or changes to policies and procedures are needed to earn your future business? For all we know, you might not return because a trip to our area is a once in a lifetime journey, or maybe your health has deteriorated to a point you can longer travel. Furthermore, what is needed at one park may not be needed at another. A family bathroom design might be almost a requirement at either a park that caters to families with small children or a park that has a large number of guests with medical conditions. Conversely, a park that draws almost exclusively people interested in more extreme outdoor activities such as hiking, ATV riding, Rock Climbing, whitewater rafting, back country fishing and hunting etc. may never draw customers with that profile.
    Maybe you gave us a one star review and won't return for the same reason another guest cited in review on this very site a few years back. That helpful, thoughtful and considerate guest said in their review that they would never return to our park because the Sun rose much too early in the morning. We made an appeal for a change to the authority that manages those things the very next Sunday morning, but it wasn't implemented. We never did receive a written response why our request was denied.
    The point is we don't know why people make the decisions they do without input from those people. We do not, and cannot act on all suggestions. But we do act on some immediately and others we take into consideration when making major changes and upgrades. Still others are either not financially practical or even possible. But there is about a 100% chance a change will never happen if we are not aware such a change might be wanted or needed.
     
    #19 newkcmoedoe, Oct 15, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  20. NYDutch

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    I agree, without input you won't know why a guest won't return. That doesn't change the reality though that not everyone wants to make a scene over their physical condition and won't open up about it. They may just be reticent about discussing their condition, or simply not wanting any sort of confrontation, something that unfortunately happens at times when a people get overly defensive. Yes, there are anonymous ways to pass along that information, and online reviews can be one of them, but not everyone will avail themselves of that avenue. I can say that I've been in a number of parks with a large senior citizen clientele that have added or updated their bathroom facilities to better accommodate their needs. Has it helped their bottom line? I have no idea, but apparently they felt it was worth the extra expense and effort to do it. Would that work in your park? I have no idea what your market is, so of course I have no way of knowing what might work for you.

    We've probably beat this poor horse to death though, so I'll leave the final word for you.
     
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