Buying Land for an RV Park? Consider the Following

Buying Land for an RV Park? Consider the Following

Americans are embracing the ability to travel to inexpensive locations and explore the great outdoors. This makes RV parks an attractive destination for many looking for a fun getaway. There are a number of areas that may look promising for an RV park but may not be zoned for such an undertaking. Much time and some considerations must go into choosing and buying land to create a successful RV park.

In addition to looking for a suitable location, and learning how much money may be required to build a RV park from scratch, there are other tips that may help entrepreneurs avoid potential challenges. What are some important considerations to purchasing land for the purpose of setting up an RV park?

Explore the following tips to understand more about land purchases for RV parks, as well as permitting and the approval process, for potential RV park owners.

Where to Buy

One step to make it easier to start an RV park is to find a spot with a foundation. Some choose to look for old campgrounds but this approach is not a guarantee that there may not be challenges in setting up a RV park. It may be necessary to redo the infrastructure, lay electrical lines underground or go through government agencies to have the area meet specific codes and local requirements.

It helps when prospective owners can do much of the work themselves and not have to hire out. However, some aspects, such as electrical and wiring, may need a licensed professional. Speaking with RV park owners can help prospective owners avoid pitfalls that may be specific to an area.

Permits, Regulations and the Approval Process

It has become harder for new entrepreneurs to get into the game. Additional permits and expenses add to the initial cost of setting up an RV park. Permit costs vary upon municipality. Some may find they need to go to the zoning board and township supervisors to find out about the specific rules about a location. Those who want to own an RV park need to know whether or not the land is zoned and what restrictions may exist.

It is important to research the area. A market survey is helpful in determining whether or not a parcel will be large enough for an RV park and will be an economically feasible choice. In addition to understanding local zoning restrictions, it is important to know what types of municipal services are available. Successful RV parks often have easy access to main roads and are close to major roads.

Rather than build from scratch, some may choose to buy into a franchised RV park plan. This may require a specific number of RV sites. The KOA requires at least 75 RV sites. It is also necessary to provide essential amenities to guests.

It may take time to get started. Landscaping prints and park blueprints may need to be approved by local and county officials. These plans may need to be submitted one year or more in advance of a potential RV park opening. A public hearing and waiting period may be required before construction begins.  Official approval is needed before owners taking out building permits. Some choose the easier and cheaper option of simply purchasing an existing RV park.

Building from scratch can cost up to $20,000 for each rental space. In addition, those who want to offer more accommodation options may want to add park models for as year round rentals for those without an RV. The trend of “glamping,”or luxury camping, has increased the expectation of more modern amenities at RV campgrounds, such as Internet access, cable television or a swimming pool.

Know Your Community

Once an owner has construction underway, they will need to know how to best market their property to potential guests. Social media has replaced traditional forms of advertising, but local radio commercials and supporting charitable community events may help new RV park owners get the word out to RV owners. 

Gary Ashton is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee, Nashville and now #4 in the world.

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