Buying An Rv Park/campground
Buying An Rv Park/campground
Jul 9 2010, 07:40 PM
Joined: 9-July 10
Member No.: 45905
New to this forum and really don't go RV camping but we are considering buying an RV--probably a 5th wheel/5er--to use when my husband going into retirement soon. We considered getting second home in cooler summer area (we are in DFW TX) but have two pets that we don't want to fly/drive for lengthy periods....the summer heat is really getting to my husband who loves to play golf...
But while we were doing some research on RVs--we also noticed that RV parks/campgrounds might be a viable investment...my sister is very active person---in her early 60s--loves the outdoors and capable of doing lots of the types of maintenance/chores that goes along with an RV park...she is currently teaching in a Catholic school in San Antonio TX and living on farm land north of town...but she is very discouraged about her job---and some other aspects of her living situation. She has always been single--almost took her final vows as a nun at one point--is personable and gets along well with wide variety of people..
She would be pretty good candidate to manage it for us and then probably give park renters some options to work for rent...
So I thought people who RV and camp at sites across the country might be a good forum for pros and cons about buying an RV park and what features a good/desireable park would have.
And what type of RV park would make a bad bargain...
I wonder if any of you have enough background with RV travel that you have seen parks change hands over time--if you are seeing more RV parks having trouble during this economy--
if--as I have read--the camping/RV trade is really growing since people think it is less expensive and because many people really want to get "back to nature" and enjoy the outdoors when they have free time.
Does it matter if a camp has a major affiliation like KOA or is it more important to have updated capabilities like WiFi and/or cable-----pull through slots that can take pull-out bays--
the 50 amp electrical--
Do you have to have facilities like a restaurant/grocery store/mini-golf and swimming pool--or does it depend on the location of the park itself--
the more remote the location the more those become assets to getting/keeping RVers---
It is more attractive to have a smaller site with larger spaces vs one than can handle larger numbers and maybe host big traveling groups?
What parts of the country make RVing really a 3 season possibility vs year round?
Is security a big issue as far as thefts from RVs or issues with alcohol or fighting--or does it just depend on the individual location at any given time
I would not want to put my sister into a spot where she would have to deal with confrontation all the time
especially since some of these parks are outside city limits and have limited law enforcement around probably...
(as I said--no real experience with RV parks--so maybe I am over-reacting about that)
Any good books about this or sites with good info I would appreciate knowing about.
We have a good CPA that does taxes for my husband's business but I imagine there are factors about doing an assessment/evaluation of a business like this that are unique...
I guess I am surprised that some of the RV parks I have seen advertised are fairly inexpensive--considering the land they come with and how much infrastructure there might be---which makes me think they are likely not going to be very profitable...
does anyone know if there is a rule of thumb about profitability wihtout doing an audit of the books
or what the major expenses would be in running a park---
I assume the top three would be taxes, insurance, and water/energy costs--or maybe salary for the manager on site befor the enery costs...
Has anyone stayed at an RV park that made use of solar technology or wind turbines for some energy generation?
Hope this does not come across as too pie in the sky--
just starting to gather some info...
Appreciate any info you care to share--
Jul 10 2010, 02:42 PM
Joined: 2-July 07
Member No.: 14080
I manage a campground right now. We are more of an overnight/permanent site place. My suggestion would be to try out camping in different locations to see what you like and don't like about CG's. Also, unless you have lots of extra cash I would hold off. You should not expect to have a CG that will immediately start paying for itself. When we were hired as managers (not camp hosts) the place had a waiting list because of lots of construction in our area. When that particular job finished up we went down to almost empty. The owners still have our salary other overhead costs to pay but with much less income available. Much of the work we do here is actually not something in our job description but we treat the place as if it was ours. If someone were to be paid for all we do, and all that has to be done, it would cost them at least double our very small salary. We work 6 days a week and are on call 24/7. It is hard to find someone that will work for a small salary with long hours and to still make a profit.