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February 1st, 2014

Memo From Frank & Dave

Tough winters are a good time to buy RV parks. Moms and Pops are sick and tired of the cold and fantasize about retiring to a warmer climate. It’s our theory that all good deals on RV parks happen in the north in the winter, and in the south in the summer, when temperatures are miserable and sellers are anxious to go somewhere more pleasant. After fixing a few frozen pipes, the average Mom and Pop is willing to chuck the whole park and go down to Florida. So if there’s an RV park that you have been wanting to buy in Minnesota, this is your best shot at making an offer right now. And if you’ve really wanted an RV park in south Texas, hold off until the summer heat is at 110 degrees to make that offer. Weather is a motivating tool when buying RV parks, no doubt about it. And our new severe weather patterns are making it a bigger sales tool than ever before!

The Effect Of Winter On RV Parks

Home Built RV

This has been one of the worst winters in 30 years (unless you own a snowplow company). Areas of the nation that seldom see below freezing have been below zero. Florida recorded temperatures in the 20s. So what’s the impact of winter on an RV park?

Not much customer movement – which can be either good or bad

When weather turns ugly, most RV users hunker down wherever they are. Driving in the snow and ice is bad, driving in an RV or pulling an RV in the snow and ice is worse. This is great news if they are already in your park, as they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But if you had some that were supposed to come in when the snow started then they’re not going to arrive. Just like possession is 9/10ths of the law, having the RV already in your park is what makes or breaks how the finances work during inclement weather.

The necessity of winterization

Water freezes at 32 degrees. That’s a fact. You cannot let any water line in the park hit 32 degrees. Good winterization involves insulation and heat tape. Bad winterization involved hope and prayer. It’s just science. If you don’t winterize effectively, your pipes will freeze and break, and that’s an expensive mess. You are miles ahead to winterize in anticipation of the storm.

Ease of maintenance on amenities

One great thing about cold weather is that you can finally stop worrying about keeping those amenities ready to go. However, make sure that your pool is winterized before the bad weather hits. A broken pool can cost $10,000 to $50,000, so don’t even think about letting that happen. Do the pool winterization back a couple months before the freezing temperatures hit. People will not be using the pool when it’s 50 degrees out, so don’t wait until it start to hit 30.

Be ready for frozen pipes

Despite how good a job you do on winterizing your RV park, you are always going to have a frozen pipe somewhere. Make sure you have the tools to fix it, or have a plumber who is ready to go when it happens. If you don’t have a regular plumber that you call, it’s time to make a new friend before the first snow hits. There’s nothing worse than desperately needing a plumber and finding nobody is available.

Have a resource for snow removal

Don’t forget that RVs are vehicles, and you have to make the roads in your RV park reasonably decent for those vehicles to pass through. Either have your own snow plow, or an agreement with a contractor to do the snow removal. And make sure to firm up what the price will be before the first attempt, so you don’t find yourself the victim of “bait and switch” tactics.

Enjoy the scenery

Snow is beautiful. People I know in the south will tell you that the #1 thing they miss in winter is the beauty of a snow covered landscape. Enjoy the snow while it’s here. That’s the whole reason you bought the RV park, to get a higher quality of life, right? Well, don’t be a total scrooge. Snow, in most areas, is only around for a very short time, so appreciate it while it’s here.


Irving Berlin was not thinking of RV parks when he wrote “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”. However, it’s not that bad a problem to have, if you take the right steps before winter sets in. Prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that includes a pound of snow.

Now Here’s An RV Model You Don’t See Very Often

Home Built RV

This RV is a permanent exhibit along Route 66 in Pontiac, Illinois. It was apparently a real RV that someone had been traveling in for hundreds of thousands of miles, and is cobbled together from pieces of various RVs over the decades. I’m not sure that it’s road-worthy today, but it definitely gets your attention as you drive through town!

RV Parks And Campgrounds Are A Part Of American History

Rv Museum Exhibit

More Good Press For The RV Industry

I noticed this ad in a recent edition of the luxury magazine “Travel and Leisure”. How did an RV end up among the travel options of luxury hotels all over the world? Well, the RV industry is enjoying a renaissance fueled by the 10,000 baby boomers that are retiring each day and devoting their lives to travel and leisure – so it’s a perfect tie in for the magazine. Look for more positive articles in the year ahead.

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