Let’s take a look at the recent history of the RV lifestyle and move forward to a possible near future scenario.
When I started traveling full-time in my motorhome, the first Baby Boomer president, Bill Clinton, was in the White House, the Oklahoma City bombing brought the first national fear to the American people since World War II, with the Summer Olympics disaster adding to the reality of unrest on the home front.
We had barely recovered from the memories of Hurricane Andrew in Florida when the 2000’s exploded on us with the 9/11 attack, the 2004/2005 hurricane season, the 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado outbreak, and a global financial crisis that devastated working class pensions. That is just the first 10 years. The next ten overwhelmed us with a con artist becoming the most powerful man in the world attempting to destroy America’s democracy and bringing Congress to its knees. Confusion and indecision rules throughout the land.
Just as we were trying to recover, along came Covid-19 kicking us while we were down. Mother Nature, declaring us not fit to govern over her territory, gave us no mercy as devasting climate change decimated crops and rerouted the world’s migration habits.
The America of our 1950s belief system was dissolving. Change was happening whether we, as individuals, opened our eyes to it or not.
At this juncture, US of A citizens are starting to get the point. There is no real long-term security anywhere in America, maybe the world. The old standard of work hard, buy a home, retire with dignity is being attacked by our own people.
Going mobile seems a good choice for Americans to handle all the changes without a lot of stress. The Boomer generation saw the opportunity first. They flooded American RV manufacturers with motorhome, fifth wheel, and trailer demands. These demands are met with poorly constructed RVs leading to high maintenance costs. Because of the cost and lack of skilled technicians, the RV lifestyle took a hit until the Millennial generation evolved with the skills to work remote and put the pressure on for higher standards in the RV industry.
Across the pond, the Europeans work hard to bring the RV industry up to a standard that the rest of the world can accept. Their ingenuity and craftsmanship bring a new face to the RV lifestyle. Here in the US of A, the rise of the Class B+ opens a new world to millions of citizens that now call their home “the road.”
Ready for any crisis now with their getaway vehicle parked in the driveway, they can breathe a sigh of relief. If climate change threatens, within hours they can be on their way to safety “and in comfort.”
What stands in the way of the RV lifestyle right now is affordable places to park. As more parks upgrade their utilities and amenities, their rates are rising too. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds predicts more than 53,000 new RV sites are being built this year across the country. How many of those sites are renting for less than $50 per night?
If you are interested in owning an RV park, now is a good time to invest in one or two. An excellent investment can be an in/out RV park. We can easily construct this type of park on a small parcel of land outside populated areas. Close to a freeway offramp is ideal or on the main street of a small town that has a gas station and diner. This type of property is usually cheaper than surrounding options.
Secure an acre of land, install 15, maybe up to 30 RV sites. Offer electric, water, and sewer or one sewer dumping spot available to customers as they enter or leave the park. Provide the utilities for overnight parking at a low rate with a limit on the stay. No other amenities provided. The few parks I have seen in the western states charge $15, but today’s rate could be $30.
Much of the management can be automated, one person can handle the maintenance. With the high-tech designs available today, customers can come and go 24/7 with no interaction with staff. As an example, Weary Traveler is opening this Fall on I-65 in Seymour Indiana. When it is complete, 30 pull-through sites with full hookups and Wi-Fi access. Advance web-based reservations are available, and a gate code lets you in for the night. At the cost of $39 for a 14-hour stay, a safe place to park is assured. Check out Russ and Tina De Maris’ article in RVTravel.com for more details.
Just imagine, traveling becomes so much less stressful if you know that at the end of the day a clean, safe spot is waiting for you. Most travelers spend less that 8 hours in an overnight stop, so that opens this site again for business. Think about thousands of this type of RV parking across the country. This takes the stress off local parks and encourages more travelers previously weary of staying overnight on a dark street or vacant lot.
With a little promotion targeting RV traffic, these low-cost sites could be busy day in and day out. A nice little business with few headaches can serve the RV public in a big way.
“This is a great book for beginning do-it-yourselfers (like myself). A lot of overview about basic things, so you know you are doing the right thing for yourself.
It’s a guide more than a How-to book. But it includes proper procedures for many things like how to properly maintain and handle your sewer system, troubleshooting the water heater, refrigerator, furnace, etc.
This book also includes how to communicate with the repairman so you don’t get swindled. I particularly appreciated this part of the book.
Another useful tool in the book that is very handy are the commonly used acronyms for weight balance. Detailed descriptions are included about these acronyms. These help you keep your rig balanced! Very important!
I feel more confident now that I know more about my RV. A book worth getting!” … Amazon Customer
Would you like to understand more about your RV? Some questions answered in “Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers:”
- How does the refrigerator work and why does it need to be level when in use?
- How do hydraulic levelers work and why do they need maintenance?
- I need to flush the hot water heater, what is the best procedure?
- What is the best practice to keep the sewer system working properly?
- What is an inverter and why do I need one?
Don’t leave home without it!