There may be a number of costs that figure into the rate a campground charges for use, but the two largest factors are location and amenities. Other costs that may play into rates are land use fees and overhead that includes labor costs and liability insurance.
Campers should be aware that the same principles that influence the value and cost of real estate play a large role in the rates that campgrounds charge. Camping areas close to attractions like amusement parks, sports facilities, or that have easy access to highways and major thoroughfares often charge a much higher rate. The owner of these campgrounds typically pays more in real estate costs and associated taxes, and passes those costs along to visitors. The desirable proximity to attractions also provides an added value to campers that is accounted for in the fee schedule.
The number and quality of amenities offered also affects the rate a campground asks. Campgrounds that offer RV enthusiasts full electric, water and sewer hookups often charge a premium rate for these services. Campers who use tents don't typically avail themselves of these utilities and are often charged a much lower fee as a result. Some campgrounds also offer picnic pavilions, swimming pools and other recreational facilities that can also affect the rate the owner/operator charges.
Besides those two main factors, a campground is likely to have other costs that are passed along to campers. Facilities located in national or state parks typically are assessed a land use fee that is reflected in their daily rates. Campground operators also have employees and maintenance workers to pay, as well as variable liability insurance that must also be accounted for in rate schedules.