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February 1st, 2016

Memo From Frank & Dave

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and for many people this holiday is all about romance. And it’s hard not to love your RV park with the current megatrends going on in America right now. Not only are 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring per day – with a huge percent buying RVs for travelling in their retirement – but we are also seeing a huge plunge in gas prices, making using those RVs cheaper than ever before. These two forces are already setting occupancy records in some parks, but are lifting the revenue of all RV parks. As revenues go up, so does net income, as well as the value of your RV park for resale. Higher values also allow for easy refinancing and even cash-out refi’s. Now that’s something to get romantic about.

Exceptional Amenities

RV Park Hot Tub
RV Park Barbeque Area

These are some photos from an RV park in California. These two simple amenities elevate this park from average to exceptional, and improve the cap rate, appraisal amount, and number of willing lenders. So how do you create exceptional amenities?

Go over the top

Exceptional amenities begin with the understanding that you have to go the extra mile to be truly unique. Because you are trying to impress, you are going to have to spend money to accomplish that. You don’t have to bankrupt yourself, but don’t think you can miser your way into greatness. In the case of this hot tub amenity, what elevates it is the floor to ceiling glass enclosure, and the decorative rafters that keep it open-air while allowing for a windbreak. Is that cheap? No. But it’s impressive. The outdoor kitchen is a far cry from the typical BBQ grill on a post. But it screams class. And that’s not going to be missed by the visitors who go back and tell their friends “we stayed at this RV park with this awesome hot tub and outdoor kitchen area”.

Choose activities that everyone would enjoy

Exceptional amenities need to be activities that most every visitor can enjoy. Just because the park owner likes handball does not mean that an exceptional amenity would be a professional grade handball court. To impress the masses, you have to appeal to the masses. Choose amenities that appeal to all ages, as well as things that can be enjoyed year round. In this case, the hot tub is heated and can be used 12 months of the year, and the outdoor kitchen is always in use no matter what time of year it is.

Remember the cost of maintenance

Benjamin Franklin once said “it’s not the cost of the fireplace but the cost to keep it in wood”. That means that you need to think beyond just the cost to build the amenity, but also the cost to maintain it. If you build a 9-hole miniature golf course, you may spend endless time and money maintaining the windmill and the fountain and the pump that powers the river. So the best amenities direct the cost into the upfront construction but minimize the maintenance expense. The hot tub is small and easy to maintain, and the outdoor kitchen is impervious to weather and easy to clean.


Exceptional amenities are a terrific way to attract and retain customers. But they don’t just happen without planning and capital expenditure. If you’re going to offer an amenity, why not take it to the next level? Your pocketbook will be glad you did.

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How Marketing Superpowers Can Make An RV Park Fortune

Captain America RV Park

One of the best ways to make money with RV parks is to buy properties that suffer from extremely poor occupancy, and then put the horsepower into the marketing. There are a huge number of RV parks owned by moms and pops that don’t even know what the internet is, or have a sign out front that fell over two years ago. You can buy these parks on existing occupancy, and then push the overnight stays through the roof.

Step 1: Find an RV park that has a great location, but terrible marketing

Even the best location will go unnoticed if you don’t advertise it. If you look around, you will find just this set up. The dream location coupled with zero occupancy since the mom & pop owners don’t know how to make use of their assets. You can buy these parks based on their existing net income, which can sometimes create a price less than construction cost. When you find these opportunities, tie them up under contract immediately.

Step 2: Do your due diligence on the park and the market

Never leave anything up to chance. Do your due diligence like your financial future depends on it – because it does. See if the problem is, in fact, all about the marketing. If the other nearby RV parks are full and yours is empty, then it’s a good bet that marketing is the missing link.

Step 3: Attack the marketing

Build a website. Get your RV park to the top of Google. New signage. Improve the park’s appearance. Treat every customer right and never let anyone leave unhappy. Start building an insanely great business and stay vigilant on making it even better. Get your occupancy up double or triple where things stood when you bought the park.

Step 4: You’re a success

If you can significantly ramp up occupancy, then you’re a winner. Your income is huge, and the value of the RV park has gone up a tremendous amount. You can keep on running the park, or sell it. No matter what happens next, you have created a tremendous amount of value by simply putting a modern sales effort on a forgotten asset.


Superheroes are fun to watch because they always win. And you will always win with an RV park that needs marketing firepower if you can deliver that plan.

A Tour Of A New 2016 Park Model

Want to see what about $40,000 can buy you when it comes to park models? These are the upscale rental “cabins” that more and more RV park owners are offering those that want to rent a hotel-type lodging while still enjoying the atmosphere and amenities of an RV park.

These cabins contain a living room, kitchen, master bedroom, bathroom, and sleeping loft that can handle several people. They are well appointed and stylish. If you can rent one of these for $100 per night, you would make your money back in only 400 nights of rental, which might mean you can get your investment back in a few years or less. More and more RV park owners are adding this to their selection of options for visitors, and they are doing well with them. Check out if one of these would be a winner for your RV park.

RV Park Model Outside
RV Park Model Living Room
RV Park Model Kitchen
RV Park Model Bathroom
RV Park Model Bedroom
RV Park Model Loft

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