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Anyone ever looked at RV lot ownership?
Old 06-27-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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Anyone ever looked at RV lot ownership?

We have a fair number of RVers on the forum, so I thought I would toss this one out. I stumbled across a condominium RV resort about 45 minutes from me. Its in an exurban area (about as close to "wilderness" as NJ gets) but which is pretty close to some very compelling attractions. I know the area and the parts that have not been turned into tract housing are very pretty. The place is set up as a condo where you have the right to either leave the lot as an RV pad or can put a pretty deluxe park model on site. The place is only in "phase I", but given the fact that it is pretty much unique in the area and that they can clearly rent the spots for pretty nice income to offset cost of ownership, I suspect they will make it to full build-out.

Anyone ever look at one of these? Gotchas? Any thoughts? The list price (heh) is steep, so I will likely do no more than take a tour and think about it. But a vacation property I do not have to keep up or manage and which potentially brings in income to offset costs is a nice thought.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Purchase an existing KOA Campground - KOA Campgrounds for Sale

I did years ago. It helps greatly if you do all the maintenance work and you like dealing with the public.

I think the one you are describing is where the owner is selling pads and then becoming the operating manager. That is happening to a place in Moab - pads selling for 125K and up.
http://www.portalrvresort.com/
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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Purchase an existing KOA Campground - KOA Campgrounds for Sale

I did years ago. It helps greatly if you do all the maintenance work and you like dealing with the public.
What is offered at the place I ran across is an individual lot, not the whole shebang.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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What is offered at the place I ran across is an individual lot, not the whole shebang.
The one in Moab - you got a large concrete pad with water, electric, sewer and access to a very small pool, and dog walking area - there might be a monthly operating fee. I didn't look into it too much - it doesn't seem to make financial sense to me.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #5
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We have casually driven through a few. They are not cheap - watch the maintenance fees. I would do it with a national firm and that gets you low or free rental at sister "resorts" elsewhere. Many of them also want 25% or more of your rental income on your site.

If you can get one you like for a good price it gives you the option of storing your unit there, too, instead of in a driveway or storage lot.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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The ones I saw in California & Oregon wrere IMHO much tpoo expensive, $100K+, plenty fees & rules. Designed for rich folk with big, expensive RVs, some had hot tubs on each site.
We went with the lowest level of Thousand Trails camping network. Costs <$600 a year, good for two weeks on, one week off all through the year. We are sitting in a site near Placerville CA right now, floated our raft on the American River yesterday, fishing too. Thousand Trails - Getaways
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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Anyone ever look at one of these? Gotchas? Any thoughts? The list price (heh) is steep, so I will likely do no more than take a tour and think about it. But a vacation property I do not have to keep up or manage and which potentially brings in income to offset costs is a nice thought.
RV or structure, it still begs all the usual vacation-rental questions:
- You might feel obligated to spend your vacation time at the rental instead of going someplace else. Rich makes a good point about being able to exchange your pad rights for other locations. [Insert stereotypical "vacation in New Jersey" joke here.] OTOH you have young kids who might enjoy the "routine" of visiting the same campground 2-3x/year for the decade. But those days will be gone forever when they become cool teenagers.
- If you're renting it out, it's hard to determine how much it's actually being rented out. You're at the mercy of the rental manager's integrity-- or else you have to hide a webcam surveillance or have your own auditor doing frequent random site visits.
- The concrete pad is hopefully low maintenance, but there still may be special assessments for the rest of the site's infrastructure. If the other pad owners aren't paying their dues then there'll be a lot of expensive legal bills to work through the delinquency/lien process. Depending on the site's amenities you may be supporting liability insurance premiums or other expensive sewage pumping, electrical hookups, and snow removal infrastructure upkeep that you may not even use while you're staying on the pad.
- If most of the owners are absentees, then the condo association's governance may not be very good.

Andy has an RV forum too, but of course the rest of the board may have other resource recommendations.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:21 PM   #8
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I did years ago. It helps greatly if you do all the maintenance work and you like dealing with the public.
Wise words. It is something like a bed and breakfast...only worse. You can never leave the premises.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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If you can, I'd wait until build out is complete and then buy one of these pads on the secondary market. Surely it won't be long before someone wants out (tired of RV life, health issues, finances, etc.) and you can deal with a motivated seller. Approach this as you would any timeshare - they are rarely a good deal when purchased "new" from the developer but can be reasonable if you buy at a discount from an individual owner.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #10
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If you can, I'd wait until build out is complete and then buy one of these pads on the secondary market. Surely it won't be long before someone wants out (tired of RV life, health issues, finances, etc.) and you can deal with a motivated seller. Approach this as you would any timeshare - they are rarely a good deal when purchased "new" from the developer but can be reasonable if you buy at a discount from an individual owner.
Probably the smart way to play this.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:17 AM   #11
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Doesnt this concrete slab condo defeat the whole purpose of the RV which is to get out there and explore new places or go back to several favorite places. In this particular instance i wonder how long it will take before the people with structures start getting tired of the people with RV's,sounds like an expensive pretentious bore of a place to live with all manner of idiotic rules and regulations dreamed up by the condo committee.
A concrete slab in backwoods of NJ??no thanks
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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Doesnt this concrete slab condo defeat the whole purpose of the RV which is to get out there and explore new places or go back to several favorite places. In this particular instance i wonder how long it will take before the people with structures start getting tired of the people with RV's,sounds like an expensive pretentious bore of a place to live with all manner of idiotic rules and regulations dreamed up by the condo committee.
A concrete slab in backwoods of NJ??no thanks
I kind of wondered that too. Seems like a condo development out in the woods could be had for a similar price?? Maybe not in NJ, but in many other places. Maybe it is the nicety of having your million dollar rig out in a nice RV park. A $125,000 condo could never compete with that level of luxury.
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