Our decision to become RV dwellers was not based on financial reasons, more on our season in life, the fact that we were empty-nesters, and we wanted a more simplistic life style. It was also heavily influenced by Bob's desire to be closer to the lakes where he provides fishing guide service. Since we are not planning, (at this time), to travel with our RV, our options were to purchase land and take on all the responsibilities that includes, (such as bringing water, sewage, and electricity to the RV site); purchase a full-time RV pad at a resort, or find a long-term "camping" site at an RV Park. Since we were looking to reduce our footprint, not enlarge it, and because the location we chose had no RV Resorts, we were left to look for a suitable RV Park that met our needs.
There are a variety of park types that allow for full-time stationary RVs. The criteria for our selection included:
Safety: Check with the local law enforcement community on issues related to the park and its residents. Think of other "out of the box" safety situations as well. We live in the mountains of Colorado and that means bears. We checked to make sure there were a sufficient number of garbage cans away from the main part of the park that are bear proof, and that residents were not allowed to store garbage outside of their RVs.
Cleanliness/Ascetics: Checking out the "neighborhood" was important too. How old were the RVs in the park and what conditions were they in? How did the residents arrange their cars, outside equipment, and outdoor furniture? Did they keep it all in good repair?
Space for living: We looked for a site that would allow for a bit of outdoor living. Would we be able to add a porch to the RV, a place for lawn chairs, table, and hammock? Could we use our BBQ and where would we put it?
Management: The management is the make or break of any business. What are the rules? Are they rules we respected, could live with, and were they enforced consistently? What is the reputation of the park and the managers?
Dog friendly: Most important to us was how friendly is the management and residents towards pets and especially small dogs. Again, the rules and expectations may be a deciding factor in your decision to sign the lease. It was for us.
Monthly costs: You may be quoted a monthly cost for your site, however ask if that includes the water and electricity as well. Many sites will provide both when camping for a short period, however in most cases, the electricity is your responsibility when leasing for long-term. Don't forget the cost of propane too. Long-term residents often select to rent a propane tank adequate for their needs and contract with a gas company for monthly refills. You may be surprised at how much this adds up to on a monthly basis, especially during a Colorado winter!
I'm happy to say we found the perfect spot for us. We are now anxiously awaiting the coming Spring to work on the outside of the RV. Upcoming videos will include the building of our deck, setting up our "patio", and a peek into Bob's fishing season!