When traveling frequently, do you prefer to visit a mix of RV resorts and campsites in different states? Or do you like to visit the same town repeatedly and often stay at the same RV park every time?
If it’s the latter, then you’ll be paying over and over to stay at the same place, take in the view, and enjoy the amenities at the park. Sure, the swimming pool, gym, and restaurants probably encourage you to go on the road trip. However, at a certain point, you may begin to wonder whether it’s worth buying an RV lot instead of renting by the day? Won’t you save money in the long run?
Is Buying an RV Lot a Good Investment?
RV lots come in many different dimensions. Some are barely large enough to drive your Class A RV or truck with a camper behind it onto the lot. Others are more generously sized and come with permission to make additions like adding a canopy or other extras to make it more pleasant.
For retaining the RV lot’s value post-purchase, it depends very much on the location, amenities, and how well the RV park is maintained. If the state experiences highly changeable weather patterns including severe storms, it can impact how often the RV lot can be used for vacationing or with RV lot rentals too.
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Can an RV Lot Be Rented to Generate Income?
When wishing to rent the RV lot, it’s best to check with the POA or HOA to confirm that it’s permitted. Not all agreements do so. When it’s allowed, then RV lots come with an approved rental rate for the lot, so it’s not like when renting an apartment or a house you set the rate yourself.
The POA/HOA will levy a rental management fee too. These can range between 10% up to as much as 30 percent at the top end (yes, it’s a wide range). Because of this, when purchasing an RV lot to generate a profitable rental income, this fee should be factored in. As such, potential purchasers must confirm the option for renting the RV lot, any restrictions when wishing to do so, and all the applicable fees related to the activity too.
Can an RV Lot Be Rented Part of the Time?
Yes, it’s possible to purchase an RV lot and rent it out for RVers on a vacation. Then you can occupy the lot at other times of the year too.
Doing this kind of arrangement can help to offset the ongoing ownership costs of the RV lot including insurance, HOA/POA fees, water, and sewer (billed by the local authority), etc.
It’s unlikely that you’ll generate free cash flow from the rental income when using it in this manner, but it may reduce or eliminate the ongoing holding cost for the RV lot investment.
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What Factors Make an RV Lot a Good Investment?
A prime location can go for hundreds of thousands or in some cases, over a million dollars if the lot is in the perfect spot with unobstructed water access.
The location matters a great deal when shopping for an RV lot. When it has an idyllic river or lakefront access with an unobstructed view (which won’t change with subsequent land development), that’s like gold dust.
Good water access with a place to store a trailer with a boat, or to take a dip, also provide the cherry on top for many RVers or campers who also like to go swimming or to tow their boat with them to the resort.
Also, end lots or ones that have natural features around them that act as a protective border are popular. While waterfront views are the most sought after, RV lots with water views in the distance sell well too.
The amenities at the site, recreational activities, an interesting local area with tourist attractions, excellent shopping malls, and fine dining all sway an RV park in its favor. An RV park that lacks some or many of these features make for a less attractive RV lot for rental or resale.
Pet-segregated RV Lots Command a Premium
Even when you don’t own a cat, dog, or another pet that travels in your motorhome with you, it’s a good idea to look out for a pet-segregated RV lot.
These pet-friendly RV lots are in their own area. This allows pet lovers to have their dogs or cats and not be worried about neighbors who dislike animals with a passion!
With an eye to profitable RV lot investment, pet-segregated spots command a premium because not every RV park has them. So, even if you don’t have pets – but you still like them – then purchasing a pet-friendly RV lot isn’t a bad idea for land appreciation purposes. Also, it’ll open up more options when considering renting out the lot because otherwise, you’ll be excluding any pet-loving RV owners. And that could hurt your bottom-line ROI.
Does It Have a Good Sense of Community?
One of the often-overlooked aspects is who will be your neighbors, and will they offer a good community around you?
In terms of pure investment, this may still be important because friendly lot owners look out for one another’s RV lot, especially when on good terms. Also, when you go to eventually sell your RV lot, it may be a question asked by a prospective buyer too. Furthermore, if you’ll be bringing your RV down to vacation there too, then it’s even more essential.
People in RV communities are often a tight-knit group, have regular get-togethers, and enjoy each other’s company. This adds considerably to the satisfaction and enjoyment of the RV land purchase. However, it isn’t necessarily something people pay enough attention to before completing the purchasing transaction.
Other Factors Worth Considering
Here are some other factors worth bearing in mind:
RV Park Owner and Management – They run the RV park and oversee the lot. As such, they have a direct impact on your happiness when spending time there. They’ll also affect any renters too. It won’t be pleasant if finding out too late that they are a real hassle to deal with. Talk with current RV lot owners at the resort to get the unofficial lowdown on the RV park owners and management.
Seasonality – It is a major factor for renting and vacationing on your RV lot. When it’s not warm enough, it rains too frequently, or the weather can be erratic, then it’s difficult to get enough usable days of the year to make an RV lot pay. Check on the weather and the rental price, to calculate the number of usable days annually and what rental profit is possible with these restrictions.
Rent Before You Buy – One of the best things about RV resorts and buying RV lots is that it’s often possible to rent before you buy! Even if you cannot rent the exact lot, you can stay near to it at the same RV park. Then it’s possible to check out the area, enjoy the amenities, and get a feel for whether you’ll be happy there? It’s best to do that before purchasing to avoid disappointment.