Is owning an RV park a good investment? 

Written By Sarah Ford

Ever dreamt of a life where adventure is your daily routine, and the closest neighbor is a curvy road leading to the unknown? Enter the scene: RV parks. 🚐

Far from your standard real estate gig, owning an RV park is the latest unconventional path to financial freedom and escaping the 9-to-5 grind. ⏰

With property prices soaring (an average of 6% Y-O-Y) and fierce competition for commercial properties, the RV park concept is a refreshing change. Imagine a place where travelers bring their homes on wheels, seeking adventure and serenity in nature’s lap.

Sounds dreamy, right? But is it all sunshine and rainbows, or are there hidden storms?

Let’s peel back the Instagram filter to reveal the real deal of RV ownership—the finances, the grind, and the rewards. Why are more people eyeing this unique investment? What perks does it offer, and what hurdles await?

Read More: Realtor Fee Newyork: How Much Money do Real Estate Agents Make in New York?

1. Understanding RV Parks as Investments 

So, what’s the deal with RV parks, and why are they getting attention as investments in today’s real estate world?

What are RV parks?

RV parks, short for “recreational vehicle parks,” are special spots where regular folks and families can park their motorhomes, camper vans, or trailers for a little while. But these places aren’t just empty parking lots; they often come with important amenities like electricity, water, and spots to handle waste, making them cozy homes away from home for travelers.

Why are they famous!? 

The RV and camping scene has been blowing up recently because they are all about freedom. More and more individuals are opting for the open road as their form of entertainment, prioritizing the journey and its every turn as a crucial component of the experience. RV parks are a great asset to this lifestyle, providing a haven to rest, recharge, and socialize with other nomadic thrill-seekers. 

This shift in how folks like to travel has some big impacts on real estate investors. RV parks used to be a bit of a niche investment, but now they’re looking like a smart move.

They’re not just places for folks to park their RVs; they’re like lively communities and can bring in a steady income for savvy investors.

Source 1 

2. Advantages of owning an RV Park 

Owning an RV park is not your usual real estate gig—it’s an investment with some sweet perks. Here are a few that you need to know about!

2.1 RV parks = Recession-proof Income  

Camping reservations increased during the 1980s, 1990, and 2008 recessions while the rest of the economy deflated.”

source: RV park University

Just last year, despite the economic slowdown, RV parks across the states were booked till the next year.  KOA’s October Monthly Research Report found 51% of 2023 consumers who camp have at least one 2024 trip book. Even more, 58%, said their 2023 camping trips have exceeded expectations.

Unlike regular real estate, where people pay monthly rent, RV parks welcome guests for short stays, weeks, or even months, so you get a steady cash flow. During peak seasons, like summer, holidays, and weekends, you can earn as much as $20,000/week from your RV park!

Read More: Mastering The Maze: Can a Buyer’s Realtor Represent 2 Buyers on the Same Property?

Source 1 2 3 4 

But how are RV parks recession proof?

2.1.1 Always in Demand:

A significant portion of RV park customers are retirees, notably Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, who now enjoy their golden years unconcerned by economic downturns. With about 10,000 Boomers retiring daily in the U.S., this substantial group predominantly lives off social security and pensions, making them largely unaffected by job market fluctuations.

2.1.2 Millennials Adding to the Boom! New Demographic

Millennials, forming another substantial cohort of RV owners, prioritize travel as a non-negotiable annual activity, recession or not. On average, RV owners embark on journeys for about 14 days a year, ensuring their travel plans remain intact regardless of the economic climate.

2.1.3 Affordability:

RV travel is often cheaper than fancy vacations involving planes, hotels, and eating out. That makes it a smart choice for folks looking to save money during uncertain times. In fact, during tougher times, this group tends to use their RVs even more as a way to maintain prudent travel spending.

2.1.4 Flexibility as an Assets

The inherent flexibility of RV travel aligns perfectly with the unpredictability of economic conditions. This adaptability allows travelers to modify their plans without hassle, making RVing an attractive option regardless of financial climates.

2.1.5 Safety in Self-Sufficiency

The inherent flexibility of RV travel aligns perfectly with the unpredictability of economic conditions. This adaptability allows travelers to modify their plans without hassle, making RVing an attractive option regardless of financial climates.

2.1.6 Cultivating Connections

The community atmosphere prevalent in RV parks is a unique selling point, especially in tough times. These spaces offer a platform for individuals with similar interests to connect and share, enriching the travel experience without breaking the bank.

2.1.7 A Resilient Revenue Source

These advantages converge to ensure a consistent influx of guests to RV parks, translating to a steady revenue stream for park owners. Even when the broader economy faces downturns, the appeal of RV parks tends to remain strong, underlining their recession-proof potential.

Read More: Navigating Realtor Fees in Georgia: A seller’s Guide to Saving Big on Commissions

2.2 You can experiment with the Pricing!

RV park owners have a nifty trick up their sleeves when the economy gets wobbly. They can tweak their prices in clever ways: 

2.2.1 Surges!

Just like how flight and hotel prices go up and down with the seasons, RV park owners can play the same game. They can drop prices during quieter times to draw in guests and bump them up during peak seasons when everyone’s looking to park their RV. This strategy keeps the park bustling all year round and maximizes earnings.

2.2.2 Stay Longer, Pay Less

Locking in revenue for longer periods is genius. By offering discounts for extended stays, you are not just filling spaces; you are guaranteeing a consistent revenue stream. It’s about reducing turnover and maximizing occupancy—a clear win for any investor’s bottom line.

2.2.3 Awesome Specials

Imagine using strategic specials to tap into diverse markets. Deals for veterans, first-time RVers, or specific groups aren’t just goodwill; they’re smart business. They attract a wide audience, ensuring the park stays lively and profitable year-round. For investors, it’s like casting a wider net and catching more fish, season after season.

2.2.4 Fancy Math

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Leveraging algorithms to adjust pricing in real-time? That’s not just smart; it’s cutting-edge. It means we’re always on the mark, charging the right price at the right time. High demand? Prices nudge up, maximizing profit. Slow season? Prices adjust to attract more guests. It’s dynamic pricing at its best, ensuring our investment works harder, smarter, and more efficiently.

In the eye of folks who want their money to stay safe and sound, offering a steady income in the unpredictable world of real estate. 

Read More: Can a Real Estate Agent Represent Themselves as a Buyer

2.3 Steady Money from Long-Term Guests

2.4 You Can Diversify Your Income

In the world of RV park ownership, diversifying your income sources is like a smart move that can make your investment stronger and richer. Let’s dive into why mixing things up matters in the RV park business, the different ways you can make more money, and how this can make your RV park a better investment. 

Think about it like this: If your RV park only makes money from renting parking spots, that’s nice, but it puts a cap on your earnings. Income diversification is like your secret weapon. It means finding more ways to make money in your RV park. This not only boosts your total income but also makes your finances tougher, so they can handle ups and downs in the economy or changes in the seasons. Extra Perks:

You can offer cool stuff that guests pay for, like Wi-Fi, cable TV, or special parking spots with cool extras. People are willing to pay for more comfort and convenience, which means extra cash for you. Laundry Time:

Having washing machines and dryers on-site is super handy for RV travelers. They’ll pay to use them, and that means a steady stream of income for your park. Fun Stuff:

Depending on where your RV park is, you could add fun activities like mini-golf, hiking trails, or fishing spots. These can attract more guests and bring in more money. Mini Store:

Think about having a small store right there in your RV park. It’s like a handy place for guests to grab snacks and things they might need. Plus, you can sell RV-related stuff like hoses and accessories to make extra cash. Team Up:

Partnering with local businesses or cool places nearby is a smart move. You can make deals where they send guests your way, and you give them a cut. For example, teaming up with a nearby theme park or outdoor adventure spot can bring more folks to your park. Long-Term Stays:

You can also offer longer rental options, like seasonal or yearly leases. This can give you a steady income, especially if lots of RV travelers come by during certain seasons. 

Diversifying your income like this is like having a financial safety net. If there are tough times or unexpected problems, you’ve got money coming in from different places to help out. It keeps your cash flow steady and your finances stable, even when one part of your income isn’t doing so great. Plus, it makes your RV park more attractive to guests and investors alike

Read More: Decoding Realtor Fees in New Jersey: An Essential Guide For Home Sellers

Source 1 2 3 4 

2.5 The Property’s Value Goes Up:

Here’s another thing to consider: the land and buildings that come with an RV park can become worth more over time. People really like staying at RV parks, especially in cool places, so the park’s value can go up. If you decide to sell it later, you could make a big profit, which makes investing in an RV park even more attractive. 

Let’s talk about how property values can go up over time, which is like a secret to building wealth. This idea applies to RV parks too, and knowing why real estate gets more valuable can be a game-changer for your long-term financial plan. 

2.5.1 Understanding Real Estate Appreciation:

Real estate appreciation is like the magic where the land and buildings you own become worth more money as time passes. Think of it as a mix of factors, like what’s happening in the real estate world, where your property sits, how well you look after it, and if more people want to be in that area. Knowing these things can steer you toward smart investment choices. 

2.5.2 Factors Influencing RV Park Appreciation: 

  • People Want to Stay: RV parks in places that lots of folks want to visit tend to get more valuable. It’s like if your park is near cool tourist spots or beautiful nature, more people will want to stay there, and that drives up the value. 
  • Location Matters: You know that saying, “location, location, location”? Well, it’s true for RV parks too. If your park is in a stunning place, close to natural wonders, or near cities with lots to do, it’s likely to become more valuable over time. 
  • Keep it Nice: RV parks that are well taken care of, have modern stuff like Wi-Fi, and are generally attractive tend to get more valuable. If your park needs a bunch of repairs or updates, it might not go up in value as fast. 
  • Economy Check: How well the local economy is doing can also affect how fast your RV park becomes more valuable. If the area has lots of jobs and is doing well economically, more people might want to stay in your park, which can make it worth more. 
  • Supply and Demand: It’s like a seesaw. If there are only a few RV park spots available, but lots of people want to stay in them, the value goes up. So, understanding how many spots are available and how many people want them is important for appreciation. 

3. Other Non-Financial Advantages of Investing in a RV Park

An RV park isn’t just about cashing in. It comes with a bunch of other great stuff too. RV parks are like special investments that offer more than just a chance to earn cash. Let’s explore these cool perks and talk about how owning an RV park can give you a unique lifestyle, a tight-knit community, and personal advantages that go beyond dollars and cents. 

3.1 Quality of life improvement 

Another great thing about owning an RV park is how it can improve your quality of life. It often means you get to enjoy a more laid-back, outdoor way of living. The peaceful natural setting, fresh air, and chances to have fun outside can make your life healthier and more balanced. Plus, you have the freedom to decide when and where you work, which can give you a work-life balance that lots of folks find really nice. 

3.2 Be your own boss 

Being your own boss is one of the most attractive aspects of owning an RV park. Being your own boss gives you a sense of independence and freedom. As an RV park owner, you have the power to set your own rules, make your own strategic decisions, and direct the operations of your park based on your vision. This kind of control is personally satisfying and gives you the ability to be hands-on in business management. 

Source 1, 2, 3 

3.3 Fun and adventurous experience 

Having your own RV park isn’t only about cash; it can also be a ton of enjoyment and packed with exciting experiences. RV enthusiasts are continually searching for awesome and delightful spots to park their vehicles, and as the owner of an RV park, you have the chance to create these fantastic experiences. You can plan fun stuff on-site and team up with local cool places for even more fun. Being an RV park owner means you’re in for an exciting journey, meeting new people and exploring your community. Every day can be like a new chapter in your RV park adventure. 

3.4 Ownership of your own estate 

Running an RV park isn’t just a regular business gig; it’s like having your very own slice of land. RV park owners often feel a deep sense of happiness and pride because they get to take care of a special piece of property. It’s not like your usual property investment – it’s more personal and meaningful, and it connects you closely with the land and the area around it. 

3.5 Year-round access to amenities 

Owning an RV park means you can enjoy all the unique features you’ve created on your property whenever you want, 365 days a year. Whether it’s an ideal fishing hole, a stunning hiking path, or a comfortable campfire pit, these features become your own personal playground. You can play when you want, work when you need, and live when you want. 

3.6 Room for customization 

An RV park is like having a big blank canvas where you can get super creative. You can design and build the park just the way you imagine it. Whether it’s making the landscape look awesome or adding new cool stuff for guests, you can make the park match what you like and what your visitors want. This freedom to customize things is super satisfying, and it means you can keep making the RV park better and more appealing to folks who come to stay. 

3.7 Seasonal business 

Managing an RV park often means dealing with different times of the year when business picks up or slows down. This might sound tough, but it can actually be a good thing. Seasonal ups and downs give you times when you’re super busy and times when things are calmer. That means you can work hard when it’s bustling and take it a bit easier during the quieter times. Think of it as a natural rhythm that helps you manage both work and personal life. When things get busy, you’re in full swing, and during the slower times, you can relax, handle maintenance tasks, and do some strategic planning. 

3.8 Always Have a Home Base 

One cool thing about owning an RV park is that it’s not just a business place; it’s also your home sweet home. Living right there means you’re always close by to help guests and run the place smoothly. It makes you feel really connected to the park and the people there, and it’s a way of living where your work and personal life mix together. 

3.9 Other considerations 

Besides all the exciting non-money stuff we talked about earlier, there are other important things to think about. These could be things like local rules and permissions, the job of running an RV park, how to get folks to come, and keeping the place in good shape. Finding the right balance between the fun stuff and the practical stuff is key to making the most of this special investment chance. 

Read More: Buying a Non-Conforming Property : The Complete Guide

4. Disadvantages of owning an RV Park 

Even though owning an RV park has lots of good things, there are also some not-so-great parts to think about. In this section, we’ll check out the less fancy side of RV park ownership and talk about the tough stuff and things to keep in mind. Knowing these downsides is super important so you can make smart choices and have a successful and satisfying time as an owner. 

4.1 It may be Stressful 

Running an RV park can be a real handful and sometimes even stressful. You’ve got to handle all sorts of things like taking care of the place, sorting out guest problems, and making sure everything runs smoothly day in and day out. Plus, unexpected issues like fixing stuff or dealing with local rules can add to the pressure. Even though owning an RV park can be really rewarding, it’s important to know that it can get pretty stressful, and it’s smart to have good ways to deal with that stress. 

4.2 May not break even the first year 

For certain RV park owners, making a profit might not happen right away, not even in the first year or even a few years. When you put money into making the place better, advertising, and adding cool stuff, it can take a while before you start making money back. During this time, owners might have to pay for things like running the place and paying off any loans, but without making much money from it. That’s why it’s super important to have a realistic money plan and enough cash to keep the park going when it’s still growing and getting better. 

4.3 Year-round park regulations and HOAs 

You have to follow lots of rules, especially from local authorities and sometimes Homeowners Associations (HOAs). These rules can affect how you run the park and have both good and not-so-good sides. 

4.3.1 Local Rules:

These rules cover various things like where you can put your RV park, how it should be used, and making sure it’s safe and fair for everyone. Here are some important ones: 

  • Zoning Laws: These laws decide where and how RV parks can be in a town or county. They say if the land can be used for RVs. 
  • Health and Safety Codes: RV parks must follow these codes about things like cleanliness, clean water, trash, and fire safety. This is to keep guests safe and the park running well. 
  • Environmental Rules: Depending on where your park is, there might be rules to protect nature, especially if it’s near special natural places. These rules can limit what you do with the land and how you deal with waste. 

4.3.2 Homeowners Associations (HOAs):

Sometimes, if your RV park is part of a bigger community, you might have to follow extra rules from Homeowners Associations (HOAs). These are groups of people who live in the same area, and they make their own set of rules. Here’s what to know: 

  • Shared Stuff: If your RV park is in an HOA place, you might get to use common things like pools or parks. But you might have to pay fees to keep them nice, and you’ll have to stick to the HOA’s rules. 
  • How Things Look: HOAs can also say how things should look. They might have rules about how your RV park and buildings should appear. 
  • What You Do: HOAs can limit what you do with your RV park. This can include how long people can stay, who can visit, and how the place should be landscaped. 

4.3.3 Challenges and Considerations: 

  • Extra Costs: Following these rules can mean extra expenses for checks, permits, upgrades, or repairs. 
  • Limits on What You Do: Rules from HOAs and local governments might say how many RV spots you can have, what fun stuff you can offer, or when you can be open. This can affect how much money you make. 
  • Conflicts: Sometimes, you might have disagreements with the local government or HOAs. This can take up your time and even need lawyers to solve. 
  • Changing Rules: Rules from HOAs and local governments can change, and that can change how you run your RV park. So, it’s important to keep up with any updates. 

4.4 Tax issues 

As an RV park owner there might be a lot of tax stuff you need to think about. Here are the main things: 

  • Property Taxes: You’ll likely have to pay taxes on your land and any buildings or improvements you make. The amount you pay depends on where your park is located, so it’s important to know your local tax rules. 
  • Income Taxes: The money you make from your RV park, like rent and extra services, can be taxed by the government. To do this right, you should keep good records of your finances and report your income properly. 
  • Depreciation: The IRS lets you deduct the cost of things like improvements or certain stuff you buy for your park over time. This can help lower the amount of income you get taxed on. 
  • Capital Gains Tax: If you sell your RV park and make money on the sale, you might have to pay a tax on that profit. How much you pay depends on how long you owned the park and how much money you made. 
  • State and Local Taxes: Besides federal taxes, you might also have to pay state and local taxes. This can include taxes on the services you offer or taxes for guests staying at your park. 

Handling all these taxes can be a bit complicated, so it’s smart to get help from a tax expert or an accountant who knows about real estate. They can help you figure out deductions, keep your taxes as low as possible, and make sure you’re following the rules. 

4.5 Need thick skin 

Managing an RV park can be challenging, and it requires a positive attitude to handle certain situations: 

  • Handling Guests: You’ll meet various individuals, and occasionally, it can be challenging to resolve their issues or conflicts. It’s crucial to remain composed and courteous, even when situations become tricky. 
  • Handling Complaints: Just like any other business, your RV park might receive negative reviews or complaints from guests. You should be prepared to accept criticism and use it as a way to improve your park. 
  • Coping with Rules and Permits: Dealing with local regulations and permits can be frustrating. It often requires patience and persistence to navigate through these requirements. 
  • Surprises: Unexpected things can happen, like equipment breaking or bad weather. It can mess up your plans, and you’ll need to stay resilient. 

Even though owning an RV park can be awesome, it does have its tough moments. Learning how to handle these challenges and stay positive is key to doing well in the long run. 

4.6 Annual Association Fee 

For folks who own RV parks in communities or developments, there’s a yearly fee they need to pay. This fee typically heads over to a Homeowners Association (HOA) or a similar team responsible for looking after shared things like parks and rules. Here’s the scoop: 

  • Why Hand Over Cash: The yearly fee is your contribution to keeping the place looking good with landscaping, ensuring it stays secure, covering utility bills, and even organizing fun community events. 
  • You Have to Pay: If you’re in an HOA community, you usually have to pay this yearly fee. If you don’t, there can be penalties or legal trouble. 
  • Cost Can Vary: The fee amount can change a lot based on what your community offers. Some places charge a set amount, while others look at your property’s size or value. 
  • See Where the Money Goes: HOAs have to show you where your yearly fee goes. You have the right to check out their budget and how they use your money. 
  • Plan Your Budget: If you own an RV park, remember to include this yearly fee when you’re figuring out how much you’ll spend. It’s important to know how it affects your property’s profit. 

4.7 Maintenance and Upkeep 

Keeping an RV park in good shape is an ongoing job for its owners. This ensures that everything runs smoothly, keeps people safe, and ensures guests enjoy themselves. Here are the key tasks they have to tackle: 

  • Taking Care of the Basics: Owners need to regularly check and fix things like water and sewage systems, electrical stuff, roads, and parking spots. This keeps guests comfortable and safe. 
  • Making It Look Nice: Keeping the place looking good is crucial for getting and keeping guests. This means taking care of the grass, trees, and common areas where people hang out. 
  • Keeping Amenities Up: If the RV park has cool stuff like pools, playgrounds, or laundry rooms, they have to make sure these things are safe and working well. That makes guests happy and avoids accidents. 
  • Watching Utilities: Managing things like water, electricity, and gas is important for keeping costs in check and being kind to the environment. 
  • Handling Emergencies: Being ready for unexpected problems like leaks, power outages, or storm damage is a must. Owners need plans in place to deal with these situations. 
  • Getting Ready for the Seasons: RV parks often see more guests at certain times of the year and have different weather challenges. Owners need to prepare for these changes, like getting ready for winter or doing maintenance before the busy season. 

Taking good care of an RV park doesn’t just make guests happy; it also saves money in the long run by preventing big repairs and replacements. 

4.8 Management and Operations 

Operating an RV park means running things smoothly and making good choices to ensure it runs well and generates income. Here are the key areas to pay attention to: 

  • Looking After Guests: Making guests happy is a top priority. This involves ensuring they have a smooth check-in and check-out process, assisting them whenever they require help, and addressing any issues promptly and politely. 
  • Handling Reservations and Finances: Being super organized is crucial for keeping track of who’s coming in and going out and managing all the financial matters. This organization ensures that the RV park doesn’t run into money problems and remains in good financial health. 
  • Getting the Word Out: To keep the RV park busy, you need to let people know about it. This means coming up with ways to tell folks about your place, like having a website, using social media, and putting out ads. 
  • Managing Your Team: If you have people working for you, it’s important to be a good boss. That means training them well, making schedules, and listening to their concerns so everyone works well together. 
  • Keeping the Money in Check: RV park owners need to take care of the park’s money, which includes making budgets, managing expenses, and keeping an eye on how much money is coming in. Being good at handling money is a must for making a profit. 
  • Staying within the Lines: It’s crucial to make sure the RV park plays by the rules set by the government at different levels – local, state, and federal. This means knowing where you can build things, keeping the place safe and tidy, and not causing harm to the environment. 
  • Making Guests Happy: Talking to guests, listening to what they have to say, and making things better based on their ideas can make the RV park more popular and keep guests coming back. 

So, remember, it’s all about keeping guests happy, managing money, spreading the word, and being a good boss if you have a team. Running an RV park well is all about balancing day-to-day tasks with long-term plans to keep the place successful. 

4.9 Regulatory and Zoning Issues 

Dealing with Rules and Zoning: When you own an RV park, it’s vital to understand and follow the rules laid out by the government. This includes a few important things: 

  • Zoning Laws: These laws decide where and how RV parks can be set up. They tell you what kind of land you can use for RV spaces. So, make sure your RV park fits the local zoning rules. 
  • Guest Well-Being Rules: These are really important to keep your guests safe and your park running smoothly. They include making sure everything is clean, providing good quality water, handling waste properly, and having plans in place to prevent fires. 
  • Environmental Rules: If your RV park is near places that need protection, there might be extra rules to follow to take care of the environment. You need to follow these guidelines to keep nature safe. 
  • Permits and Licenses: Depending on where you are, you might need different permits and licenses to run your RV park legally. These could include business licenses, health permits, and special use permits, so check what your local area requires. 
  • Getting Friendly with Your Neighbors: It’s a big deal to be on good terms with the people who live close to your RV park. That means chatting with them, paying attention to what they worry about, and being a responsible part of the community. This can prevent issues down the road. 
  • Keeping an Eye on Your Place: It’s a good idea to regularly look over your RV park to make sure everything is in good shape. The owner should do this, and sometimes government folks might come by to check too. If they see any problems, it’s essential to fix them as soon as possible. 
  • Don’t Break the Rules: If you don’t follow the rules and zoning laws, you could end up in legal trouble, have to pay fines, or even have to shut down your RV park. So, it’s important to know the local rules, get legal help when needed, and always follow the law to keep your park running smoothly. 

Source 1 2 3  

5. Factors to Consider Before Investing 

Before diving into owning an RV park, there are some really important things you should think about. Making a smart choice means looking at different factors, from what you want to achieve and whether you’re financially ready to picking the right place and planning how to run the business. In this part, we’ll talk about the important stuff to help you succeed and be happy as an RV park owner. 

5.1 Location and Market Analysis 

Choosing the Right Spot for Your RV Park Matters a Lot: Where you decide to set up your RV park can have a big impact on how well it does. To figure out if a location is good, there are some important things to consider: 

  • Are There Enough People Who Want to Stay There: You need to check if there are plenty of folks who would like to stay in an RV park at that spot. If it’s near cool things like tourist attractions, natural beauty, or fun activities, that’s a positive sign. 
  • Who Else is in the Neighborhood: Check out other RV parks in the area. See what they offer, how much they charge, and how many people stay there. This helps you know if there’s room for your park. 
  • When People Visit: Some places are busy with RVs at certain times, and quiet at others. You should know if your spot is like that, so you can plan for busy and slow times. 
  • Fun Stuff Nearby: Think about what cool stuff is close by that might attract RV travelers. If there are cool things to do nearby, it can make your RV park more appealing. 
  • Rules and Laws: Look into the rules and laws in that area to make sure you can legally run an RV park there. You also need to follow health, safety, and environmental rules. 
  • Getting There: Check how easy it is for people to get to your park. If it’s easy to reach from the main roads, more people might come. 
  • What’s Popular Right Now: Keep up with what’s happening in the RV world, like how people like to travel and book spots online. It helps you stay competitive. 

So, remember, where you put your RV park matters a lot, and doing your homework can make a big difference in how well it does. 

Source 1 2 

5.2 Investment Costs and Financing 

Understanding the Money Side of RV Park Ownership is Really Important for Success. Here’s What to Think About: 

  • How Much You’re Paying: Figure out how much it costs to buy the RV park, including the price, fees, and any fixes you need to make. 
  • Everyday Costs: Estimate how much money you’ll spend to keep the place running, like utilities, repairs, insurance, property taxes, and advertising. 
  • Getting Help with the Money: Check out different ways to get money for buying the RV park, like loans or teaming up with others. Look at things like interest rates and how you’ll pay the money back. 
  • Money In and Out: Do a money check to see how much you’ll make from the RV park and how much you’ll spend. Make sure the RV park can make enough money to cover its costs and pay back any loans. 
  • Saving for a Rainy Day: It’s smart to put some money aside for unexpected things, like surprise expenses, repairs, or making the property better. Having some extra money is important for the long run. 
  • Checking Your Potential Earnings: Calculate how much cash you might earn by owning the RV park.  

Consider the money you’ll make soon and what you might get in the future to decide if it’s a wise  investment. 

5.3 Competitive Landscape 

Understanding Your Competition is Key to Making Your RV Park Stand Out. Here’s What to Think About: 

  • What Makes You Special: Find out what makes your RV park different from others. It could be cool stuff you offer, a great location, good prices, or amazing service. 
  • Picking the Right Price: Decide on a price that’s fair but also helps you make money. Think about changing prices for different seasons, offering discounts, and having different prices for different kinds of guests. 
  • Spreading the Word: Come up with a plan to tell people about your RV park. Use the internet, social media, and work with other travel businesses to get guests interested. 
  • Making Guests Happy: Focus on giving guests a really good experience. When they write good reviews and tell others about your place, it can bring in more guests. 
  • Staying Flexible: Be ready to change things based on what guests like and what’s popular. Being able to adapt can help you stay ahead of the competition. 

5.4 Long-Term Vision and Exit Strategy 

Thinking Ahead for Your RV Park Business is a Smart Move. Here’s What to Keep in Mind: 

  • Growing Your Business: Make a plan for what you want your RV park to be like in the future. It could be making it bigger, adding cool stuff, or just making more money over time. 
  • Passing It On: If you want to give the RV park to your family or sell it later, make a plan for how that will happen. Write down how the change will work. 
  • How to Leave: Think about different ways you could leave the RV park business one day. It might be selling it, getting someone else to run it, or using the land for something else. 
  • Planning Your Finances: Make sure your money plans match up with your long-term goals for the RV park and how you want to step away from it someday. Adjust your plans as needed to make sure everything lines up. 

6. How to invest in an RV Park? 

Investing in an RV park means dealing with different expenses and money stuff. To make sure it’s a good investment, you need to understand these money aspects. 

6.1 Property Buying Costs:  

When you’re getting the RV park, you’ll have to pay for a few things upfront: 

  • The Big Price: The first and most significant cost is what you fork out to buy the RV park. This can be all over the place, depending on where it’s at, how massive it is, what cool stuff it offers, and whether it’s in good or bad shape. 
  • Closing Costs: When you’re finishing up the property purchase, there are some additional expenses. These cover things like inspecting the property, making sure everything is legally sound, and getting assistance from legal experts. These are known as closing costs. 
  • Fixing Things Up: If the RV park needs to be fixed or made better, you’ll have to set aside money for those changes. 
  • Starting Money: You’ll also need some money in the bank to pay for things like bills and salaries when you first start, before you start making money from guests. This is called working capital. 

So, when you’re thinking about investing in an RV park, you’ve got to look at these money things to make sure it all adds up. 

6.2 How to Pay for It 

When it comes to funding your RV park purchase, you’ve got some options: 

  • Home Loan for RV Parks: One common way is to get a regular home loan. You’ll need to put down some money upfront, and the interest rates and terms can vary. 
  • Business Loans: There are also business loans available, like those from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which can help with RV park investments. SBA loans can be especially good for small business owners because they often have favorable terms. 
  • Seller’s Help: Sometimes, the person selling the RV park is willing to lend you the money directly. This can be nice because it might give you more flexibility with how you pay it back. 
  • Team Up with Investors: You could also team up with other investors or real estate groups. Everyone chips in, and you share ownership. 
  • Your Own Money: If you’ve saved up some cash or have equity in other properties, you can use that too. 

Picking the right RV park is crucial for your investment. Make sure you do your homework to lower the risks and increase your chances of success. 

6.3 Picking the Right RV Park 

When you’re thinking about which RV park to choose, consider these things: 

  • Location: Think about where the RV park is. Is it close to fun stuff, easy to get to, and what the people you want to attract would like? 
  • Size: Check how big the place is – how many RV spots it has, how much land it covers, and if there’s room to make it bigger. 
  • Fun Stuff: Look at what’s already there – like bathrooms, pools, laundry, and places for people to hang out. 
  • Fixer-Uppers: Make sure the important stuff, like roads, power, water, and sewage, are in good shape. 
  • What Do People Think?: See if the place has had lots of guests, good reviews, and the kind of people you want to visit. 
  • Check the Competition: Look at other RV parks nearby and see what they offer. 

6.4 Taking a Close Look at the Property 

Before you decide, make sure to really check out the property: 

  • Walk Around: Go for a walk and see how everything looks. Look for things that are broken, damaged, or need fixing. 
  • Green Stuff: Check if there are any environmental problems on the land. 
  • Who Owns It?: Make sure the person selling it really owns it and there aren’t any problems with that. 
  • Utilities Check: See if things like water, power, and sewage are working like they should. 

6.5 Checking the Legal and Environmental Stuff 

To avoid legal and environmental problems, here’s what you should do: 

  • Legal Stuff: Get a lawyer to look at all the contracts, permits, and rules about where you can put things. Make sure everything follows the local and state laws. 
  • Environment Check: Make sure the place is doing everything right for the environment. Fix any problems that could cause environmental issues. 
  • Safety Check: Look for things that could be risky, like unsafe stuff or things that don’t meet the rules. Make sure these issues are sorted out before you buy the place. 

6.6 The Cost to Buy 

How much an RV park costs is a big deal when you’re deciding to invest. The price can change a lot based on a few things: 

  • Where It Is: If the RV park is in a super popular place or somewhere people visit all year, it usually costs more. 
  • How Big It Is: The more RV spots it has and the more land it covers, the higher the price can be. 
  • What’s Inside: If the park has lots of cool stuff like nice roads, pretty gardens, hookups for utilities, and fun things to do, it can make the price go up. 
  • Local Buzz: Prices can go up or down depending on what’s happening around the RV park. If many folks are looking to buy things in that area, prices might go up. 
  • How Good It Looks: If the RV park looks really good and doesn’t need much fixing up, it might cost more. 

Make sure to look at other RV parks in the area and talk to experts or other RV park owners to know how much they usually cost. Do your homework to make sure the price fits your budget and plans. 

6.6.1 The Down Payment 

When you’re getting money to buy an RV park, you’ll usually have to put down some cash upfront. This is like a piece of the whole price, not the whole thing. How much you have to put down can change based on a few things, like who’s giving you the money, how good you are with money, and the loan’s rules. Usually, it’s around 20% to 30% of the full price, or sometimes even more. 

6.6.2 The Financing Terms 

Selecting the right financing terms for your RV park investment is crucial for managing costs and ensuring a favorable return on investment. Key considerations include: 

  • Loan Length: RV park loans can have varying term lengths, such as 10, 15, or 20 years. The choice of loan term impacts your monthly payments and overall interest costs. 
  • Interest Rate: Interest rates can vary based on the lender, your creditworthiness, and market conditions. It’s essential to secure a competitive interest rate to keep borrowing costs manageable. 
  • Loan Type: Explore different loan types, including conventional mortgages, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and other commercial lending options. Each type has unique terms and eligibility criteria. 
  • Additional Fees: Be aware of any additional fees associated with the loan, such as origination fees, closing costs, and prepayment penalties. These fees can affect the overall cost of financing. 

To make an informed decision, compare loan offers from multiple lenders and consider how the financing terms align with your investment strategy. A favorable financing package can enhance the profitability of your RV park investment. 

6.6.3 The Closing Costs 

Closing costs are expenses incurred during the final stages of the real estate transaction. These costs can include: 

  • Title Insurance: Protects the buyer and lender against any title disputes or defects. 
  • Appraisal Fees: Covers the cost of a professional appraisal to determine the property’s value. 
  • Legal Fees: Encompasses fees for legal services, including document preparation and review. 
  • Escrow Fees are the cost of escrow services, which facilitate the transfer of funds and property between buyer and seller. 
  • Survey Costs: If required, a property survey to determine boundaries and property lines. 

Budgeting for closing costs is essential when planning your RV park investment. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price, although this can vary. 

6.7 The Inspection and Due Diligence 

Before finalizing the purchase of an RV park, thorough inspections and due diligence are essential: 

6.7.1 Property Inspection

Engage a professional inspector to assess the condition of the RV park’s physical infrastructure. This includes utilities, roads, amenities, and RV spaces. Identify any needed repairs or maintenance. 

6.7.2 Environmental and Regulatory Due Diligence

Investigate potential environmental concerns and regulatory compliance. Ensure the park adheres to health and safety codes, zoning regulations, and environmental standards. 

6.7.3 Title Search

Conduct a comprehensive title search to confirm clear ownership and identify any encumbrances or liens on the property. 

6.7.4 Financial Due Diligence

Review the park’s financial history, including income statements, profit and loss statements, and occupancy rates. Assess the accuracy of financial records and projections. 

6.8 Talk to Current Owners

Communicate with the current RV park owners to gain insights into the park’s operational history, challenges, and opportunities. 

In summary, putting your money into an RV park is a smart move. It can give you a steady income, help your finances grow, and let folks have a great time outdoors. But you’ve got to plan carefully to boost your chances of doing well. 

Source 1 2 


Q1. Why are RV parks so popular?

There are several reasons why RV travel has become super popular lately. Here are some of the big ones: 

1. Freedom and Independence: RVs let you travel your way, whenever you want, wherever you want. It’s a big deal for folks who want a flexible and adventurous trip. 

2. Cost of Traditional Travel: Regular travel with flights and hotels has become expensive. RV travel can be more budget-friendly, especially for families and groups of friends. 

3. The Glamping Trend: Glamping is like fancy camping. You’re out in nature but with all the comforts of home. This trend has made RV travel more appealing to those who love the outdoors but don’t want to rough it. 

4. Social Media: Social media makes it easy to share your RV adventures with others. It’s created a cool RV community and inspired more people to give it a shot. 

5. Aging Population: More retirees choose to travel full-time in RVs. They’re big fans of RVs because they’re comfy and easy to use, making them a smart choice for affordable retirement travel. 

6. Savings Galore: RVs can save you a bundle on travel. You can rent or buy them and use them to explore all sorts of cool spots. It’s often cheaper than staying in hotels or other fancy places. 

7. Nature Escape: RVs let you camp in beautiful spots like national parks, state parks, and private campgrounds. It’s a fantastic way to escape the city chaos and soak in nature’s tranquility. 

8. Family and Friend Fun: RV adventures are a blast for the whole gang. It’s a chance to make awesome memories and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. 

9. Explore at Your Pace: RVs allow you to discover new places on your own schedule. Whether it’s different parts of your country or even the world, you control your journey. 

Q2. What are some new trends in the industry?

RVing and camping are growing rapidly, and credit goes to following trends!

1. Younger People Are Becoming Interested in RVs
RVs aren’t just for retirees anymore. Now, most RV owners are under 55, thanks to “glamping” – fancy, comfortable camping.
This shift means there’s a growing market, with many chances to make money from the younger folks- who are looking out for fun, new ways to travel and stay outdoors.

2. Off-Grid Camping: Some campers want to escape from the busy world. They’re into off-grid camping, which means going to remote spots without things like electricity, running water, or Wi-Fi. 

3. Thinking Green: RV makers and campgrounds are getting serious about being eco-friendly. They’re using clean energy, reducing waste, and trying to be kinder to the environment. 

4. Tech in Camping: Technology is becoming a big deal in RVs and camping. RVs now have cool stuff like Wi-Fi, solar panels, and GPS systems. Campgrounds are using tech too, with online booking systems and mobile apps to make things easier for campers. 

These trends we’ve discussed are just the beginning of what’s happening in the world of RVs and camping. What’s really thrilling? There’s a ton more to explore as this industry continues to expand. So, let’s dig a little deeper into these trends: 

Remember, making an RV park investment successful takes hard work, being thorough, and ensuring guests have a good time. Whether you’re new to this or recently added it to your investments, smart planning and well-informed decisions can lead to a profitable and successful venture. 

Written By:

  • An experienced marketing consultant with a decade of hands-on experience in real estate. You might catch her at a local jazz bar on a Friday night or at home experimenting with vertical kitchen gardens.

Leave a Comment

Table of Content