The concept of a park model RV presents an interesting RV quandary for travelers. They were designed as temporary accommodations for camping, seasonal travel, and even construction. You’ve no doubt passed park model RV's without even realizing it on your daily travels, and perhaps you’ve stayed in one at an RV park or campground along the way. A park model RV is built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels, but often doesn’t have more than 400 square feet total. Although park model RV's come fully loaded, they aren’t necessarily meant to be lived in full-time even though many RV-ers invest in them in permanent RV spots in the southern portions of the US for snowbirding.
Let’s take a closer look as park model RV's including qualities and some of their advantages and disadvantages.
What You Need to Know
Some argue that park model RV's aren’t true RV's, but they are mobile, found at resorts and built to the same standards as other motorhome and trailers on the markets. The key difference between the park model RV and a more traditional form of RV-ing is in the length of time the RV's stay in one spot. Traditional RV's are manufactured to be on the go. You disconnect from your hookups, pack your things and hit the road, not so with park model RV's. Park Model RV's are designed for more long-term residency. They’re not as mobile as the traditional RV.
Many people would consider the park model RV's mobile homes or smaller homes on wheels. This is not too far off as many park model RV's contain many amenities and connect to regular city utilities. Large-scale RV resorts house these types of park model RV's for snowbirds or others who like to move in for a few months at a time. Others may use park model RVs as vacation homes or weekend getaways. You either rent a park model RV long-term or seasonally or simply buy one outright along with the lot it sits on at an RV park or campground.
Pro Tip: Depending on the type of park model you invest in, you may or may not be able to tow it around the country. Most choose to move it once a year, at most, based on snowbirding preferences.
This unique type of RV offers several advantages over traditional forms of RV-ing.
- Amenities and Space: Most park model RV's are extra-large, up to 400 square feet. While this may seem tiny compared to a typical brick and mortar home, it is a palace in the world of RV-ing. With this type of space, the park model can be outfitted with features that RV's don’t have room to accommodate.
- Rentable: There are several park model dwellers that choose to rent or lease their park model instead of buying it outright. It wouldn’t make sense to rent a traditional RV if you’re a frequent traveler, but it makes sense for park models. You rent your park model at a resort for a few weeks or months at a time, and let someone else worry about maintenance and similar aspects.
- Mobility: While technically an RV, don’t expect to take your park model RV on a sightseeing trip. Park models are meant for semi-permanent home and not frequent travel. Often a specialized truck will be required to transport the park model. While you can move it to various locations every so often, it lacks the real get-up-and-go mobility of traditional RV's.
- Cost: As said, park models are large and feature-rich, and you’ll be paying for it. While prices on park models can vary, they are much more expensive than other types of RV's, like travel trailers. You will also be paying much more to rent a park model at an RV resort than you would the cost of renting a space and bringing your RV.
In the end, park model RV's are a great option for those who want to avoid harsh winters and stay for a few months but not a desirable choice for RV-ers who like moving around. Park models are going to set you back a pretty penny, so it’s important to do the research and find the best buy. Talk a park model dealer or RV resort to find out if a park model is a good fit for you and your family.