The Park Model Option

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 222016

Something we started hearing almost as soon as we became fulltime RVers 17 years ago was about the importance of having an exit plan. Back then we were in our mid-40s and among the youngest full timers out there. My, how things have changed since then!

More and more of the baby boomer generation retired and hit the road, and many of them are still out here running up and down the highway exploring America in their RVs. Others only lasted a year or two, or five, and found a place to settle down for one reason or another. Sometimes because the lifestyle didn’t fit them, sometimes because they found what they thought would be their forever place, and sometimes because of economics. We saw a lot of people from our generation that had to get off the road and go back to work when the stock market crashed and their retirements went away.

Since then we’ve seen new RVers come and go, and others that have continued traveling and enjoying the mobile lifestyle. But we still hear about exit plans, and I think it’s a good thing to have one.

Exit plans can involve everything from selling the RV and buying another house or renting an apartment, to getting a base someplace and becoming a snowbird, or just parking the rig in a place you like and staying put and living in it.

We have always said that we would love to do this forever, but the reality is that we are slowing down. I don’t see us ever hanging up the keys, but I do see us someday scaling way back and becoming seasonal travelers. Even now we find ourselves staying places for a few weeks to a month or more, when back in the old days we seldom remained any place more than a few days.

One option to consider is a park model trailer, which would be on a lot someplace and serve as a base, while traveling at our leisure when hitch itch sets in. In doing our research, we found that this might be a viable option for us when and if that day comes.

Park model trailer

A while back we toured the Kropf Industries factory in Goshen, Indiana. Kropf is a family owned company and has been building park models since the 1970s, and in our research has been one of the most recommended brands on the market.

They pretty much do everything in-house, including building their own cabinets, and will custom make a park model just about any way the customer wants, within certain limitations. One of those limitations is that it cannot be over 400 square feet of floor space, which is a requirement to be listed as an RV. But they pack an amazing amount of amenities and livability into that space!

Some models even include lofts, which can be used as a sleeping area when grandkids visit, or for storage, though even short people like myself and Miss Terry cannot stand up straight in the loft area. But some loft models allow for sit down options, such as for a desk or sewing area.

We were impressed not only with the quality of materials and the construction techniques we saw at Kropf, but also with their attention to detail. These folks are good, and they care about what they put out. If we do go the park model option at sometime in the future, it may well be one of their products. We liked what we saw!

Production line


Be sure to enter or latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates Book Series: THE LIVES AND ADVENTURES of FAMOUS and SUNDRY PIRATES. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Pirate Trials book 3

Thought For The Day – The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our Online Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “The Park Model Option”

  1. while you were looking in Florida there were numerous places that you could have probably bought the land for short money while you were mobile rv-ing and used as a seasonal base and later on down the road
    when the time comes you could bank finance that park model because it’s new
    By where you can’t finance a used unit
    Again the biggest key is owning the land and having a low HOA Fee
    Or if you bought land outside you may run into zoning issues Wereby manufactured home May be OK. Park models I greatly doubt it
    One of the biggest disadvantages of living in an RV park is if your neighbor is 10 feet away and and he irritates you WELL !!!!!!! Or you butt heads with the HOA
    And enjoy your 80s weather up there,,, it’s in the 90s down here in Cocoa

  2. Nick, thanks for the information on the park models. I wanted to put my two cents in on exit strategies. My belief is that most people want answers. Where are we going, what will be the address, what will be the date, etc? We as humans can’t seem to stand not being able to get answers to those questions. Many just go out and do something. We had a neighbor who bought a permanent site in a park before they ever hit the road. I will agree that a general exit strategy as you alluded to has its merits and that age and health can make the need come closer to the now.
    However, many of the questions that need to be answered to get to an acceptable exit strategy can’t be answered. How old will we be? What will our health situation be? Will it be one of us, both of us or each of us separately? Where will the kids and grandkids be living then? They do tend to move. What will our financial situation be? That can change for the better or worse.
    I have seen many people trying to develop and implement an exit strategy based on today’s facts that has little or no chance of being successful in five or ten years. Why, because things change. Parks go bankrupt. Our likes and dislikes change. Our medical needs change. Every one of these items and many dozens more will impact the correct exit strategy as the future becomes the present. Many people have wasted precious resources making a decision before they let the future allow them to know the questions they will need to answer to get an acceptable exit strategy.
    We wouldn’t place an order for our next RV the day we took delivery of the current one. We wouldn’t call 27 fuel stations and make appointments to get fuel at a specific date and time over the next year. Most of us who are still traveling would not make reservations for the next year, because we wouldn’t know how long we wanted to stay at each stop, how weather or breakdowns would affect our arrival time, and whether the CG or our neighbors might cause us to want to move on sooner. Additionally, we wouldn’t try to make a list of which restaurants we wanted to eat at each night and at what time we were going to get there each night for the next 6 months. What is the difference? We have grown up our whole lives accepting these unanswered questions, realizing that future events would likely change our answer. Then there is the other axiom. As we get older we get smarter. We are supposed to learn at least one new thing each day right?
    The vast majority of us (as in almost all of us) would be better off if we approached our exit strategy the same way we planned our trips and lived our lives. With a general plan that was written in Jello, because there our too many things that can and will happen before we will be able to come up with the correct answer.
    In closing, planning is good, putting hard earned cash in someone else’s pocket based on today’s facts is not a prudent course unless now is the time to make that decision because it is the right time. I hope the above ideas stimulate some thought and conversation and save a lot of people a lot of money.

  3. We are starting our RV experience now, I mean getting rid of what can not fit in a trailer. We have talked about it for many years and now we want to try. We are getting old though. My husband who will be 70 in January and me, 68, well it’s something so important to us. Have we waited too long? We gave away our 13 very sweet chickens to do this. Our health is fairly good. We have camped throughout raising our children so we know what to do. I pray we can do this for “a few years”. I have been following your blog for awhile now and have gleaned some good information. Thank you.

  4. My 2 cent response to Judy. It’s never too late. Go! No matter how long you are able to travel is better than sitting in the rocking chair. We have been fulltime for 10 years and no plans to settle down until we have to. Due to financial reasons we have had to volunteer at state parks for 6 months out of every 12. So, our travels have been somewhat limited. However, we’ve gone from CA to Jacksonville, FL, then up the east coast and all the way to Niagra Falls. We’ve seen Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mesa Verde, Zion and lots of places in between. Appreciate the time you have and the places you are able to see.
    As to the park model subject it may be an option for us. The past few years we’ve gone to the Voyager resort in Tucson for 3 months. There are a lot of park models and we’ve seen a few. Several couples we know have sold their rv and purchased a park model. They have made friends and love the community. We are not ready to make a decision but it’s a good option when it’s time.

  5. I am on edge of needing to make decision. I may use my rv as perm residence. 32 ft and paid In Full. Have time to make short trips to locate Fl. Or Alabama location. Widow now so a community would offer socialization. Interestill g topic.

  6. So are these self contained or do you need to buy land, install utilities for a permanent place to stay?

  7. Linda, most of them are not self contained, they are made to be set up on a lot or in a park.

  8. I’m glad we had an exit plan, as just a week ago I had triple bypass heart surgery. With out a exit plan Sky Med I would have been up a creek without a paddle. We bought our just for something like this. I can now relax and heal not have to worry about the wife.
    Didn’t think we would have to lose so soon.

  9. Park models provide a great option. I base in a Florida park with somewhat larger sites than many where many park models are sited . several as year around homes and others as fixed sites for 6 or 7 month snow birds. Most have their tires and tongues removed and are hard plumbed to the sewer system, they allow large covered decks to enhance the living comfort way above an RV awning

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.