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Recreational vehicles are skyrocketing in popularity. More than 10 million U.S. households own an RV, and another 20 million households are planning to buy one.
Whether vacationers and retirees own or rent their RVs, they're always looking for a nice place to park at the end of the day. They may also be looking for a place to stay for a week or more as they explore a nearby attraction like the Grand Canyon or the Olympic Rainforest.
Before you decide to open an RV park, make a business plan. This will require you to gather all the information you need to know to make informed decisions, including critical financial data, analysis of competitors, and marketing and management plans, including automotive SEO. You will be much wiser after having done your business plan and can proceed with more confidence.
When you own and run an RV park, you can expect to most likely make a return on your investment of 10 to 20% when you sell, as well as benefit from it meanwhile as an income property. You may also be able to enjoy a work lifestyle that many people would envy. You might choose to specialize in a demographic, such as families with kids.
The quickest and easiest way to get into the RV park business is to buy an existing park. If you can find an RV park to buy that has not been run very professionally and which you can run better with your marketing and management skills, that may be an excellent deal for you. You may be able to obtain financing from commercial lenders, private investors, and government programs such as the Small Business Administration.
Seller financing is often an option. Many campgrounds are mom-and-pop operations, and you may be able to buy one (or more) on excellent terms without ever going near a bank. If the seller carries the financing at a low-interest rate, you can get straight to work running the RV park, usually without any duty to pay the whole contract should things not work out.
If your RV park is near one or more tourist attractions, especially places that attract visitors year-round, the ease of making a good profit from it is much increased. If you're on or close to a road, many RVers travel on their way to a nearby destination; your location may be ideal.
If you're along a much-traveled road but not near any particular attractions, you can make your RV park an attractive stop for the night just by providing people with the basics of a comfortable night's stay.
Whether you are close to an attraction or not, you can make your RV park a destination in itself. When people are on vacation, they love that resort feeling. It's not uncommon to find amenities such as a swimming pool and hot tub, snack bar, scheduled activities, live music, talent shows, miniature golf, bocce ball, ping-pong, horseshoes, darts, bingo, a computer room with wi-fi, games, puzzles, and a library. Your RV park could be the hub for a series of adventure tours.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for a small, quiet RV park along a little creek or next to a cornfield, where travelers can relax, roast marshmallows over a fire, listen to the crickets and recover from a day of travel and activity. Maybe you could provide a little pond they can sit beside on a bench or cast a fishing pole into.
You can provide shelter from road noise with trees or walls or mask the sound with a waterfall or fountain in your landscaping. To make sure people have a feeling of privacy, you can use attractive fences and bushes between campsites.
Whatever your RV park is like, you want people to have a wonderful experience, maybe even stay a little longer than they intended, and then write 5-star reviews on RV websites to help spread the word.