The Healthy Approach To RV Park Problems

Every RV park owner will have a problem at some point. It may be minor like not being able to decide between two different banks on a loan, or it may be major like a flood or a reduction in revenue due to road construction. But how we approach problems is extremely important. Many of the top business people in U.S. history saw problems as learning experiences to shape and improve their finances. They did not fear problems but they embraced them. And this is a much more healthy approach.

An opportunity to get back to basics and “cut loose the barnacles”

J. Paul Getty was the richest person in the U.S. from the 1950s through 1970s. And he was a huge fan of problems. In his autobiography he wrote about how problems were a healthy moment in every business in which it allowed for the owner to ‘scrape the barnacles off the boat” and eliminate waste and known errors that it was too uncomfortable to remove before (such as firing unproductive employees). Much of Getty’s wealth was the result of taking problems and turning them into opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability.

Acknowledge that you will be a stronger operator as a result

J.W. Marriott, the famed hotel magnate, once said “good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind the stronger the trees”. Every time that you encounter a problem and solve it, it makes you a stronger – and smarter – RV park owner. The wisdom that results can spare you from a repeat of this issue as well as give you advance knowledge of this risk when buying another RV park to you can mitigate it.

Often a buying opportunity

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes”. This was a quote from William J. Kaiser who was the father of the American steel industry. Kaiser loved buying factories that were failing and then making them profitable again. And when the economy causes a crash in some business segment, this can also create a resulting buying opportunity. Just look at some of the largest American fortunes and where they came from. Conrad Hilton – who was the largest hotel owner in American history – achieved that honor as a result of buying properties for a penny on the dollar during the Great Depression.


While problems are never something that RV park owners look forward to, they can be approached in either a positive or negative fashion, and the positive approach is much healthier and has more long-lasting benefits. So listen to some of the greatest business leaders in American history and embrace those problems as being good for your RV park.

Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors.