Would you like to sell your park model? After your traveling days are over you might want to put a Park Model on your lot. Also, the Park Model is a good choice for snowbirds. Some RVers also rent out their Park Model to bring in some extra income when they are not using the Park Model. Here you must know what the covenants allow and if you rent on a long term basis you may be required to pay sales taxes.

Enjoy Park Model Homes for full-time living or part-time vacations

The Simple Life beckons and the Park Model Life may be for you!CPM panorama

Why buy a Park Model?

After your traveling days are over you might want to put a Park Model on your lot. Also, the Park Model is a good choice for snowbirds. The house can be locked up when you return back home, just like the home you left back up North when you come down South for the Winter. It’s not camping as much as living in a resort at a low cost and also a nice house to live in. There are many park model parks in Florida, California and Arizona, for example.

Some resorts have condo covenants and restrictions like many nice neighborhoods and condominiums. The covenants protect you and your property value. There are advantages like saving or not paying property tax, (the land is taxed, but the house is classified as a RV and you buy a license for it) low maintenance fees to co-ops to pay for water, sewer, garbage, landscaping, etc. Any property has to have some sort of insurance to consider. Park Models in the right association can be a pleasure to own. It can serve as a second home, a place to escape and enjoy. RV Property advertises Park Models For Sale and For Rent.

Some RVers also rent out their Park Model to bring in some extra income when they are not using the Park Model. Here you must know what the covenants allow and if you rent on a long term basis you may be required to pay sales taxes.

What is a Park Model?

A Park Model is a cross between a Travel Trailer and a Mobil Home. Since Travel Trailers were a place that people lived in as a retirement home, the industry developed a somewhat larger and more livable unit with a sliding glass door and Mobil Home style appliances, that they called a Park Model. These units resembled a travel trailer, but as time went on they developed the appearance of a small apartment size house with vinyl siding, conventional house entrance door and a  with a peaked, shingled roof. There is no 12 volt system since the “RV” was designed to be semi-permanently set up and contained city water utilities and 120 volt appliances. Officially they are classified as an RV since they come with wheels and are less than 400 square feet. Once they are setup and established on the site it is inconvenient and difficult to move them. However, they can be moved if you want to foot the cost. Park models are handled like a mobile home, delivered by professional drivers set up and anchored down by professionals. All the utilities (electric, water and sewer) are installed in a permanent fashion.

Back in the fifties travel trailers were small, usually under 30 feet and when people thought about living full time in one the manufacturers came up with a house-trailer that could be moved by a truck from place to place. The idea was that the unit would stay in one place for long periods of time. Today Park Models are designed for quality, but with less emphasis on mobility.


Here is where you really make out. Since a park model is in essence an RV, it is taxed like a RV. You must tag it with a licensee plate. This is usually less expensive than paying property tax. If you own a RV lot with a Park Model on it the assessor for the county will appraise the lot, which should be low and in some states you are allowed to claim a homestead exemption. The homestead exemption will usually cover your assessment which cancels your property tax and you end up paying taxes only on the RV license. A conventional home would be taxed at a much higher rate and any homestead exemption would not cover your appraisal.

All modern electric appliances, no 12 volt system.

All modern electric appliances, no 12 volt system.

Like a cute little cottage, the Park Model is great for a retired couple. Low overhead and minimal upkeep. Many RV Parks allow them because they fit on an RV lot. You can lease an RV lot or purchase deeded RV lots in many parks and place a Park Model on the lot. All the amenities such as lawn care, garbage pickup, heated swimming pool and clubhouse, newspaper and mail service can be yours and you don’t have to worry… happy.

Some Resort Parks have an on-site management team and will sell, lease or rent you a Park Model. They will set up your Park Model and anchor it down for you. These full service properties are convenient to some RVers, especially those who want a second home in a different climate. Different lease plans are designed for your convenience.

The RV Park Model – A good alternative for the RV lifestyle.

What do you think about owning a Park Model? After you retire and want to enjoy the best America has to offer, why not buy two Park Model Homes, one in the mountains and one at the beach. Then you can enjoy winter and summer without dragging the old RV back and forth. Park Models are very reasonable. Reasonable enough, so that two could be more economical than many Motor Homes. You can buy a RV lot in a quality RV park and install a Park Model on the RV lot. A car or SUV is all you would need, no expensive gas guzzling truck,since there would be no need to RV back and forth. It is inexpensive and you are forced to get rid of all that stuff!

Backing a Park Model into a RV lot. We took the wheels off so it could be lower and they anchored it down for a permanent fix.

Backing a Park Model into a RV lot. We took the wheels off so it could be lower and they anchored it down for a permanent fix.

There is an opportunity for “living the life of Riley” at an RV resort and enjoying yourself in an RV community. A second home in the mountains or at the beach for vacations or living.  Retirement has it’s advantages and even a modest income can bring you a wonderful atmosphere to live in. A condo cost a fortune. Why not consider a Park Model Home? You can buy a lot in a quality RV park and install a Park Model on the lot. A car is all you would need since there would be no need to RV back and forth.

When a retired couple from Indiana got the idea of wintering in Florida, they bought a 5th wheel. After traveling around the state trying out various RV Parks they bought a Park Model and placed it on a leased lot in a nice park. He decided to sell the 5th wheel. Buying a roomy park model with a fully equipped kitchen, regular size appliances, large bath and shower, no 12 volt system or holding tanks, made a lot of sense to them. So did the price. They paid about half the price of the 5th wheel. It turned out to be a better option for them since they were not going to travel around anyway, but rather spend winters in Florida and summers up north.

Neighbors brought their lawn chairs to watch the installation. Everyone was excited for us.

Neighbors brought their lawn chairs to watch the installation. Everyone was excited for us.

Do you want a second house that you can afford? The Park Model is a logical choice. It can serve as a home for wintering in a warm climate or a vacation home in the mountains, the forest or the beach. Also look under RV lots for sale to find lots that allow Park Models.

Many people opt for a Park Model after their traveling days are over. Living in simplicity with less home maintenance and upkeep makes this life appealing for retirees. Instead of choosing an apartment or condominium look into the Park Model lifestyle. Many RV resort communities are setup for Park Model Homes.

The Park Model sales are soaring. Park Model manufacturers have reported nearly 10,000 shipments in 2005, an all-time industry record. 35% of the park model sales are generated in the Southeastern part of the United States. Many newly converted “campers” will never know what true camping is all about. They begin thinking about camping and traveling and wind up buying a park model after researching the industry. Others try RVing for awhile and do the same.

Reverend Van and the Evolution of the Park Model

There was a little old man named Van who had a wife who’s name was Joann. Van was a minister in a small town in the northern part of the USA. Everyone called him RV since his title was Reverend Van.

RV was born in 1898 and became a minister shortly after marrying Joann in 1921. He served a stint in WWI and got to see lots of far-away places. He trained at army camps far from his hometown and always talked about taking Joann to see how the country was “put together”, as he would say. In 1938 RV was driving his Chevrolet pickup truck through the CBD when he noticed a car dealership on the corner. A small travel trailer sitting in a prominent place near the street caught his eye and RV stopped to inquire about it. Well that was the beginning of a new lifestyle. He studied the 17 foot travel trailer and started getting excited about the possibility of taking Joann to see the USA in their Chevrolet.

When he got home he was very excited and told Joann about his dream. It was like falling in love, he could not stop thinking about the travel trailer. He prayed about this new overwhelming desire and was afraid that it would distract him from his life’s service to God. For two weeks he talked about the travel trailer and how he and Joann could spend time down by the lake and find peaceful surroundings to relax and do some deep thinking and praying away from the humdrum of everyday life in the city. One Sunday he went to church as usual. Near the beginning of the service the President of the Church Layman Committee interrupted the proceedings to congratulate RV on twenty five years of dedicated service to their church. As a gift, the congregation presented RV with the keys to the travel trailer he had seen on the car dealer’s lot. God had answered his prayers. He knew it would be OK.

RV and Joann would take time to enjoy the peaceful relaxing calm and serenity that only God’s natural creation can give. One year they took “the big trip”, all the way down south to Florida. They fell in love with the natural beauty of moss draped oak trees, swamp scenes, tranquil lakes and beautiful beaches by the seashore. This was in their future they concluded. Retirement was only a few years away and they saw Florida as the place to retire.

About the middle of the 20th century many other older folks were discovering the same idea. Florida and Arizona, with their warm winter climate, were destined to become retirement central. For years “well-to-do” folks from the north would escape the cold winter and move into their second home in Florida. Travel Trailers and Mobil Home Trailers (Manufactured Homes) were making a big impact on the Florida and Arizona landscape. Some bought condominiums or apartments and others found Mobil Homes in a Trailer Park more economical. All these homes had to be maintained even when the owners were back home. Now, there was a way middle class folks could enjoy the luxury of traveling to a far away place and spend the winter in comfort, move around and see new places and get together with the same friends every year. The Travel Trailer came into it’s own and families began to travel like never before.

After many vacations in their travel trailer and learning the ins and outs of “RVing” Van decided to invest into a larger travel trailer. He became one of the first owners of the new RV called a goose-neck trailer.  These types of RVs evolved into to what we now call a 5th wheel trailer. It mounts on a hitch which is installed in the bed of a pickup truck over the rear axle. The 5th wheel became very popular. Somewhat earlier than the 5th wheel, people became inventive and converted different vehicles into campers. Popular conversions were vans, school buses, tour buses and step vans. The motor home was established and manufacturers began installing all the amenities of home, running water, shower, toilet, stove, microwave, etc. This became the most popular for many, especially when the economy flourished.

Yes, Van bought a Motorhome too. They bought a membership in a campground near home where they could spend weekends and sometimes a couple of weeks for free. When they traveled they had the advantage of camping at other membership campgrounds for a reasonable rate of only $5 per night. Joann liked the adventure and refreshing serenity of being intimately connected with nature. Van eventually retired and began looking for a place in Florida.  He found a campground that leased lots by the season and this fitted them fine. They could stay during the winter for four or six months and go back home for the summer. Eventually they learned of RV lots for sale. The lots were deeded property and people would keep their travel trailer on the lot permanently. It was their land and they enjoyed the ability to fix it up with gardens and lawn furniture, patio’s and bar-b-que pits, also a storage building could be placed on the lot. This meant they would not have to carry stuff back and forth to home. They could actually drive down in their car. Life was getting easier and stress free.

Manufacturers got wise to the  situation and began making a travel trailer that was more squared off and had what they called tip-out rooms to increase the living space. Since the trailer never moved it was anchored to the ground and hard wired and plumbed in a more permanent fashion. The owners would build gardens and fences like a home. Some lived there all the time. As time went on, these Park Models, also classified as a RV, became bigger and better. Today Park Models are built better than Mobil Homes and look very luxurious. They look more like a small house…but if kept under 400 square feet can still classify as a RV. The RV status is important because one only has to buy a license for the unit and avoid higher property taxes. Only the RV property portion is taxed, not the home. Another economical idea was that no 12 volt system or holding tanks were necessary. Home type appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures were included. The homes soon became maintenance free for the most part. Vinyl siding, aluminum windows, textured ceilings, wooden blinds, fine woodwork, pitched roofs with shingles and overhang, fireplaces, ducked central air conditioning and heating, side-by-side refrigerators and lots of storage were all amenities that could be included in the home. Some parks allow side porches which can be screened or enclosed with windows. These rooms were called “Florida Rooms”. Maybe they call them “Arizona Rooms” in the west.

Park Model homes are all retirees need once your traveling days are over. It a great way to enjoy your quiet easy do-what-you-want life. This is the time to help the grandchildren learn about you. It’s a stressful world out there and everyone should finally sell or give their stuff away, cut back, simplify and began to understand the wonders of our life here on earth. Why God made us! Its your opportunity to grasp the depth of your relationship with God.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change; The realist adjusts the sails.”–William Arthur Ward

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