Shippensburg University SBDC Client Success Story
Campground Alternatives…

Mike and Kim Lockwood, owners of UpClose-RV met at a military school in Fort Eustis, Virginia. Both of them spent many years stationed around the country and on deployments in service to our country. While Mike was stationed at Carlisle Barracks attending the Army War College, they fell in love with the small-town environment and decided to become part of the community by buying a home in Carlisle, PA. Mike retired in 2019 as a full colonel with 39 years of total service.

The idea for the company began during his last two years of service when the Army returned him to the DC area. Not wanting to move his family from Carlisle, and in order to save money and time, Mike bought a travel trailer and planned on camping during the week and commuting home on the weekends. However, he discovered that parking his trailer in DC during the week was a problem. Noticing homes where owners had their own RVs parked in their driveways gave Mike an idea. Mike realized he could rent that space out for his trailer and provide the owner with a little extra income. He knew if he needed a place to park, other camping enthusiasts probably did too. An idea was born!

Seeking guidance, Mike attended a First Step Workshop with the Shippensburg University SBDC and a Beginning Entrepreneur Seminar in Carlisle. Robin Burtner, consultant with the Shippensburg University SBDC assisted Kim and Mike with their idea and provided start-up assistance, business planning and market research. Mike also attended two Entrepreneurial Seminars which had SBDC representation while transitioning from the Army.

Like many other businesses, Mike and Kim had a few obstacles along the way. It was a challenge at first to secure the use of properties where RVs could be parked. They also had to build a customer base for those wishing to use another’s property for the parking of their RVs. To rise to the challenge, they began using social media and venue participation trying to attract both. They also attended venues like the Homesteaders of America Conference, The Hershey RV show and other outdoor shows.

UpClose-RV has 14 business partners who have some small equity in the company. These partners include 7 veterans spanning three generations with a total of over 200 years of combined military service. The company has grown to over 140 property listings in 38 states and Canada. The company boasts 6000+ associated RVers in their database, 1500 of which are members of their platform. They are on their way to more expansion and greater success. They have been featured on programs like Fox Business. For your next adventure, check out UpClose-RV and see if there is a perfect spot for your RV.