Factors to Consider Before Investing in an RV Park

If you love RVing, you have no doubt visited countless RV parks around the country. These parks are wonderful places where travelers gather and bond over common interests. Every guest loves the outdoors, they love RV culture, and they love the people who run these parks. 

You might want to become a beloved owner of a local RV park, but you should consider several factors before spending your money on such a large investment. Review each item to determine if this is the right path for you and your family. 

Investing

Your Initial Investment

Your initial investment in any RV park involves either investing with a partner or buying the park outright. In either case, you will spend quite a lot of money getting into the business. Taking out a loan or spending your retirement savings on an RV park is a risky move, but it could ultimately be profitable. You cannot purchase an RV park with a traditional real estate loan because it is a business venture, and the requirements will vary from lender to lender. 

Even so, you must ensure that you are getting value for your money. Do not buy the first RV park you find because it may be overpriced, in poor condition, or in a bad location. Comparison shop with a licensed real estate agent or RV enthusiast in diverse locations near your home or possibly far away. Hire an inspector to review the property and alert you to any issues, and check for liens or outstanding citations against the property/park before making an offer.

Day-to-Day Clerical Duties

After investing in or purchasing an RV park, you must handle the day-to-day clerical duties. Yes, you can hire someone to help you, but you must sift through old records that might include health department inspections, asbestos abatement in any of the structures, and/or pest inspections. You are responsible for marketing the park, updating the website, and manning the office every day. You should also set aside time to visit guests around the park so that you are visible and building relationships. 

You must make reservations, check in guests, and take payments. You can optimize your RV park with a business management platform to simplify your operations, but you still put in work every day to ensure the park runs smoothly. These duties include paying vendors, handling the utilities, and reconciling your ledger. If you hire employees, you are also responsible for writing and signing paychecks every two weeks.

Can You Perform Basic Upkeep?

Some people purchase RV parks and understand how to maintain or repair everything on the property. If you know how to handle basic maintenance, you can save money by doing it yourself. You should also feel comfortable helping guests with their RVs when connecting to water or sewer systems. 

Other basic maintenance tasks include:

  • Toilets, sinks, and showers in communal buildings
  • Landscaping
  • Picnic shelter and table repair
  • Basic office or computer repairs

You can hire someone to help with these things, but each vendor you hire costs money and cuts into your profits. After scheduling appointments, you must be present when vendors arrive. You should be available to your guests at all hours of the day or night to handle emergencies. Guests are staying on your land, and you are ultimately responsible for anything that happens. 

Are You Willing to Be the Boss?

You might have an outgoing personality and understand how to manage people. While you may not hire employees at first, expected growth at your park will necessitate at least a small staff. Being the boss can be difficult, and not everyone can handle it because managing people makes the job more stressful. You might hire a manager to oversee the park, but this decision depends entirely on how much you are willing to spend or if you feel comfortable hiring, firing, and setting expectations every day.

This Is a Family Business

Your RV park can become a family business—one that you hand down to your children or grandchildren. Think of the park like an inheritance that pays a monthly salary. Some RV park owners build houses on the property to use as a main office and primary residence. Everyone can get involved, and you might even offer jobs to young family members seeking summer employment. Families take pride in these parks, and they might name the park after themselves. In effect, you can retire when you want because other members of the family will take over.

You Can Sell the Property for a Profit

RV parks typically offer a 10% to 20% return on investment, providing significantly higher profits than traditional real estate holdings. Selling the park for a profit creates an inheritance or retirement fund depending on your goals. Even if you do not sell outright, you can sell stakes in the park to investors. Bringing in more investors allows you to expand the park, increase revenue, and raise the value of the park until you are ready to sell. After considering these options, you can find an RV park that is perfect for you and your family. Share your thoughts or experiences in the comment section as we help other investors decide if an RV park is right for them.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.