Eastern Utah
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Park models

First of all I would like to respond to Taz's comment to yesterday's post, about park models. A park model is designed to be set up in an RV park on a semi-permanent basis. It usually has skirting around the outside, and the water, sewer and electric are all fixed - you don't have to empty tanks or fill fresh water tanks, nor do you have to recharge a battery or "plug in" to get electric service. The kitchen usually have residential sized appliances. As I understand it you buy the model and pay the park a monthly rent for the site. Models can have loft space, and many have porches/decks. Often they are constructed to look more like cabins than RV's or trailers, but they are usually a basic rectangular shape.

It is often a perfect way to live when a person can't or doesn't want to live in their RV's full time, but is less expensive and much smaller than a stix n brix house. Many I've checked out are in the 12' wide by 35-40' long range. There is often plenty of space to park your RV as well, so you can have the best of both worlds. I'm sure some of my readers know much more about this subject than I do, so please chime in and share the knowledge. And thanks, Taz, for asking.

The reason I'm checking them out is that I don't want to travel full time any more, but don't want to live in an apartment or buy another house. A park model can be moved as I believe they all have wheels, but I could be mistaken about that. They might have to be moved as a single-wide or double-wide manufactured house would be moved.

Thanks to ChuckB for calling some local Sacramento park models to my attention. One of these days soon I think I'll drive around and see if I can find them.


  1. Seems to me that a park model would be a good answer for you. It would get you away from your upstairs neighbours. Hopefully you would find like-minded people there. That and your camper for trips sounds great.

  2. In the parks where I have stayed where there have been abundant park models, the rent is usually charged by the year. Somewhere around 5K. When the park becomes older and less desirable then the monthly rent seems to be charged. This would be one of my first questions. When you buy a park model here in this Cal Am park, you have to guarantee that you will not move the trailer for 7 years. And you are on the hook for 7 annual rents. That is way longer than we want to get involved with. Who the hell knows if your even going to live for 7 years?

  3. Hi Gypsy, I am so sorry you are still in pain, maybe a chiropractor could help?

    When my 6 month old house drowned, all I had to live in was an 18' Class C.
    I bought a lot, and lived in it for 6 weeks until I could find a Park Model. Everyone that was in that flood had bought every RV around, so I had to go out of town to find one.

    Like you, I could not see having to fool with holding tanks, a small water heater, and an RV fridge. They are really just small mobile homes. I lived in my Park Model, happily, for 3 years while I built this little house next door.

    The only drawback for you, that I can see, is that you would have to pay lot rent, and some places are really expensive just for a lot. But it would be so much nicer than having neighbors above and beside you. No way I would ever live in an apartment again.

    The right deal will come along.
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  4. You pretty well described our place in Bayfield. Our Park Model is 14' wide by 68' long on a large corner lot. We pay a monthly $330.00 land lease, $800 a year in taxes, We are not locked into any long term contract. No wheels on ours but it did come with wheels on it years ago. Pretty cheap living for us. No complaints with the unit at all but just wished we had it on a lot out in the country somewhere.

  5. If you do buy a Park Model, you might consider getting a used one. Like all vehicles,RV's or cars, you won't get your money back. Lot rent here for Park Models was the same as mine, $197 mo. incl. water and trash. You pay elec, and propane. Most take the wheel off once set up. Some parks require to "skirt" them. There is one here for sale, has a "add on room" for $47,000. I know the people who did live there, and she said they had $60,000 in it. It has been for sale for three years! I think Athens.com might be a nice one.

  6. Gypsy...if you go to http://www.mhvillage.com
    and type in Sacramento, CA..your price range etc...they currently list 15 park models for sale in various parks in your area. Good Luck!

  7. Our SKP Park in Benson does not allow "Park Models," but they do allow "Park Trailers." The difference is that a Park Trailer is by definition an RV, single wide, although they do have slide out rooms. The maxsimum size of a Park Trailer is 400 square feet. The rule in our park is that wheels must be left on, tires fully inflated, and the trailer tongue must be left in place. We are quite comfortable in the trailer. At this park, you pay a one-time lifetime lease (amount depends on the improvements on the lot - we paid around $12,000), and no further rental fees, although capital assessments and annual "maintenance and operation fees" can total as much as $1000. One grand a year to live here (plus electric) is good living. Then when we decide to leave, we will get back the entire amount of the lifetime lease payment! You just can't beat the cost, and the park is well-managed, kept in prime shape, and is full of friendly RVing-type people!

  8. Thanks for explaining the "Park Model" idea! It sounds like a great idea and I would love to do something like that, but I have too many sewing machines and other equipment that I wouldn't be able to fit into one. Not yet, anyway!

    Thanks for the wonderful blog!