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Buying an RV Park

When you purchase an RV park, you are not only buying a business but supporting a recreational way of life.

Are you interested in leveraging one of America’s most popular pastimes? Recreational vehicles (RV) have become a lot more than a simple mode of transportation, but a lifestyle for many. In turn, buying an RV park means joining this culture and community.

RV sales have been climbing by more than 15 percent in the last few years, making this an ideal time to put the pedal to the metal on this venture. However, when looking to buy an American RV park, there are some key things to consider.

The buyer’s persona

Operating an RV park isn’t for all entrepreneurs. It takes a specific skill set and knowledge to be successful in this sector.

  • Interpersonal skills – An RV park belongs to the hospitality industry; so, being a “people person” is crucial. You should be able to cater to the needs of travelers as well as solve any issues they face.
  • An outdoors(wo)man – You should enjoy being in nature versus behind a desk. Many of your day-to-day tasks will take place in the great outdoors. Plus, you should be able to understand and appreciate the lifestyle choice of your customers.
  • An autonomous leader – The majority of these businesses are run by individual owners with no franchise support. If you decide to go the “self-employed” route, you should be prepared and well-equipped to operate, market, and finance an RV park on your own.
  • Prior experience or education – It would definitely help if you had previous experience either working at a camp-like job or having obtained a diploma in the hospitality sector. This hands-on experience and knowledge will be beneficial during the daily operations and challenges.

What to look for in an RV park for sale

The site

As the famous real estate mantra goes: “Location, location, location.” And, in the hospitality industry, this couldn’t be truer. Your occupancy levels are going to be almost entirely dependent on the area of operation. It is preferable to choose a park that is close to an interstate with a heavy flow of traffic; or, near a landmark that attracts visitors near and far. 

The amenities and services

The primary function of an RV park is to provide travelers with the services they lack while being on the road. You want to buy a park that already has these clean amenities and functioning services including a drinking water connection, a sewer system, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

You may even want to consider investing more in a park that offers added benefits such as a gas station, a restaurant, and recreational activities in order to boost your establishment’s popularity and potential revenue.

Current online presence

With over 93 percent of consumers agreeing that online reviews impact decisions about where they choose to spend their hard-earned money, make sure you take a look at the park’s online reputation beforehand. It would be ideal to buy an RV park that already has positive reviews, an engaging social media presence, and a fully-functional website.  

Doing your due diligence

An RV park has implications far beyond what meets the eye. It is crucial that you do some homework before shifting the purchase process into full gear.

Their permits

Aside from the typical licenses required to run a business in the United States, there are industry-specific ones must not be overlooked. The Department of Environmental Protection, for instance, closely supervises RV parks and their environmental footprint. Ensure that all the park's paperwork is in order, and, that all regulations pertaining to the permit are being respected.   

Council restrictions

You don’t want to buy yourself into a legal dispute. Make sure that you are aware of any zoning restrictions or environmental protection laws that are currently in place or those that might be forthcoming. You want to know upfront how much wiggle room you have if you wanted to expand the grounds or add amenities in the future. 

Building and pest report

Hire an inspector to examine the property; especially since the majority of your business is affected by external threats, such as weather conditions and rodents. Have the structure checked for any pests or infestations, as well as for its durability.

Projected revenue

Do some calculations to determine the expected income and cost of the business. You will need to look at the lot’s capacity and the occupancy rate. However, keep in mind that an RV park can have significant seasonal variations. Don’t only forecast income in peak periods, but also during the offseason.

Proximity of services

Again, an RV park’s fundamental responsibility is providing services to traveling guests. Examine all the needed systems and their proximity to the park, including road systems, electrical lines, water lines, and sewer systems. If these fail to check out, you won’t be able to offer the facilities your customers expect from you.   

Your financial options

An RV park’s sticker price can differ substantially from one location to the next. You can find an RV park offering 20 acres of land in Alabama for $300,000, to a 60-acre park in Idaho costing over $4 million. There are different loan options available to help you finance your new business venture.  

  • A commercial loan – This type of loan is taken out by an individual on behalf of a business. It is typically used to help provide the necessary funds to grow and develop a business. This loan is secured by the property.
  • An unsecured, fixed-term business loan – This is a more favorable option for a less expensive RV park. The lender will provide the amount, and you will agree to repay a fixed amount over a set period of time.

Is an RV park right for you?

Are you ready to offer a home away from home to your guests? An RV park provides travelers with a safe and secure place to get some sleep and recharge. If you feel equipped with the expertise and the drive to run an RV park, then let your adventure start here.

Visit businessesforsale.com for a quick and easy way to discover RV parks readily available for sale across the U.S.



Bruce Hakutizwi

About the author

USA and International BusinessesForSale.com Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, a global online marketplace for buying and selling small medium size businesses. The website has over 60,000 business listings and attracts over 1.5 million buyers to the site every month.

@BizForSaleUS

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