Table of Contents Show
- Can You Live Year-Round in an RV Park?
- How Much Does It Cost to Permanently Park an RV?
- What Is the Best State for Full Time RVers?
- Types of Long Term RV Parks
- Things to Consider When Looking at Long Term RV Parks
- How to Find the Best Permanent and Long Term RV Parks
- Is It Possible to Live in an RV Park for Years?
Have you thought about staying in permanent RV parks? Imagine having the comfort of your home, the ability to move whenever and wherever you’d like, plenty of amenities, and the freedom of no lawn maintenance. That’s full-time RV living.
But wait, did you know you can stay at an RV spot long-term, and you don’t have to move campsites every few days or weeks? If you’re wondering about long-term RV parks, we’ve gathered a list of things to consider when choosing your perfect RV spot.
Let’s get started.
Can You Live Year-Round in an RV Park?
Yes, many people choose to live in their camper in long-term RV parks. People may travel for their job and need to be in one location for an extended time.
Others may choose to live long-term in an RV park during a life transition, like a job change to a remote working position or a recent retirement.
For some, they may choose to live in permanent RV parks because it’s more cost-efficient than living in a rental or paying a mortgage. This is particularly true in areas of the country with a high cost of living.
How Much Does It Cost to Permanently Park an RV?
Similar to how home and rental prices vary, based on the city and even the neighborhood, permanent RV parks vary in price, too. Generally speaking, you’ll get the most affordable rate through a long-term or permanent RV spot compared to daily or weekly rates.
Depending on the area, you can pay as little as $400 per month. Like Searcy RV Living campground, located in the smaller town of Searcy, Ark., costs only $465 per month.
In more urban areas, you’ll pay more. Take this popular Silver Spur RV Park in Salem, Ore. You’ll pay around $700 per month, plus the cost of metered electricity. Bay Breeze RV Park and Mobile Estates in the San Francisco Bay area cost up to $1,000 per month for a six-month lease.
What Is the Best State for Full Time RVers?
Ultimately, choosing your home state is a matter of preference. People from any state are full-time RVers. Do you want to keep your current state as your home state? If you have a large support system and a job there, it may be worth staying put and figuring out how to live in an RV long-term in your area.
If you’re looking to move to a new state, many full-time RVers consider Texas, Florida, or South Dakota as their home state. These are popular states based on their mail-forwarding services and health insurance rates. Plus, one of the biggest benefits: these states have no income tax.
If you choose one of these as your home state, this means you are domiciling out of there. A domicile means that the state serves as your permanent legal address for your license, taxes, registration, insurance, and so on. Whatever state you domicile in, you need to actually consider that state your home and spend ample time there.
According to AutoInsurance.Org, California, Virginia, and Washington State rank as the best states to live in for full-time RVing. This is based on the weather, the number of RV insurance providers, and the number of national parks.
Types of Long Term RV Parks
RV parks offer several different options for long-term spots. Let’s go over each one and see which might be right for you.
A monthly site is a good option when you know you’ll be somewhere for more than a few weeks but less than an entire season. And, it’s more affordable than a daily or weekly rate.
Staying on a site for a month allows you to settle down long enough to explore the area. It also allows you a change of scenery every few weeks. You can stay on the site longer than one month, but you will pay monthly regardless.
If you want to travel with the weather, a seasonal site may be for you. This allows you to change sites a couple of times per year, depending on your needs.
Maybe you’re a snowbird and want to head to warm weather for a season or two. Or, perhaps you’re a snow-seeker and want to seek out winter weather. This is also a good option for traveling tradespeople who spend extended time working on job sites and are then laid off for a season.
If you prefer to park your RV permanently at a campsite, this one is for you. Someone who parks permanently and doesn’t move is considered “stationary,” meaning their RV doesn’t move but works more as a mobile home.
An annual site has its perks. People on annual sites often build on decks or porches, adding on extensive outdoor areas. The area truly becomes your home, inside and out.
Things to Consider When Looking at Long Term RV Parks
You’ll need to consider your type of RV when choosing a site. Some RV parks won’t take RVs over a certain age, while others won’t take certain types of RVs, like Class Cs or camper vans. Aside from this, there are a few things to consider.
What’s your budget like? Aside from the cost of the campsite, there are likely other expenses associated with long-term spots. Depending on the RV park, you may pay an application fee to reside there and even a deposit on your leased space.
You might have to pay a flat rate for utilities, like water and sewer. And, if you stay at an RV park for over 30 days, you typically pay for metered electricity. Your site might be more expensive if it’s a premium site or if it fits a larger RV. And, you may spend more if you use a credit card to pay for the site versus cash.
Which amenities are most important to you? How about free cable and Wi-Fi, a game room and fitness center, or even a hot tub and pool? Many permanent RV parks include these amenities in your rate. Some may have storm shelters, particularly if you’re in an area prone to strong winds and storms.
It may offer propane refills and accept mail and packages on your behalf. You might have laundry on-site, showers, and maybe even a community room for larger gatherings.
Close to Work
Just as you’d consider your commute when moving to a new home, it’s important to think about how far away the RV park is from your office. If you have a hefty commute, weigh the cost of saving money in a more affordable RV site. Is it still worth it? Or is it worth it to pay a little bit more for a spot closer to your job? Perhaps the RV park has everything you want, and you’re willing to be a little further from work.
Close to Your Favorite Recreational Activities
Since this is your home, consider the recreational activities and entertainment options around the RV park.
Is it by national parks, state parks, the ocean, or hiking areas? Does it offer access to beaches, lakes, fishing ponds, and playgrounds? Is there nearby shopping, entertainment, and restaurants? Are you looking for something more remote and rural or more urban?
Whatever your preference, you can find long-term RV parks with all these features.
Year Round Weather
You’ll need to factor in the types of weather you like. Are you looking for sunny, warm weather year-round? Do you want to live somewhere with four distinct seasons? Do you want an area less prone to natural disasters?
More than that, consider what the weather means for your RV. If you’re in frigid temperatures for months, consider the time and money it’ll take to prepare your RV for the cold weather.
If you’re in an area prone to lots of precipitation and humidity, you may need to take extra measures to prevent moisture build-up and mold. Even areas with dry, warm weather put your RV at risk of sun damage.
In summary, extreme weather is not your RV’s friend. Be sure to take care of your RV, and it’ll take care of you.
How to Find the Best Permanent and Long Term RV Parks
Most RV parks offer long-term campsites. Unfortunately, there is no one-stop shop for finding long-term RV parks, so plan to do some research yourself.
Many RV parks offer their rates online, but you may need to call them for rates beyond monthly sites as these aren’t always listed. Another way to find permanent sites is through word-of-mouth from other RVers and RV Facebook groups.
Private campgrounds typically cater to both short- and long-term RVers. If the campground offers long-term sites, they usually have them grouped or marked throughout the park. Many mobile home parks provide RV campsites. These are better suited for long-term sites rather than staying for a couple of days at a time.
Luxury RV and Motorcoach Resorts
Luxury RV and motorcoach resorts are in a league of their own. They feature upscale features on your personal site, like private casitas, covered patios, and garages. That’s right. You get to park your RV next to a small building with additional living space, like kitchens, en suites, dens, and more. Many of these have restrictions on what type of RV they’ll allow, with some only allowing Class A motorhomes of certain sizes.
These luxury resorts often have a great community feel and plenty of opportunities for fun. But with all the resort amenities at these permanent RV parks, be prepared to pay annual HOA fees.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has over 500 campgrounds across North America. They all offer extended stay options, making this an easy way to find a long-term spot. It’s recommended you call the specific KOA to inquire about stays longer than 28 days. Some KOAs have their long-term sites in an area separate from where the daily or weekly guests go, so you can expect less hustle and bustle around you.
Another way to find long-term and permanent RV sites is to use the RV LIFE website or app. It features real campground reviews from RVers who’ve stayed there, complete with photos, a list of amenities, cell phone reception, and more.
This is a user-generated platform where people give their honest reviews and experiences. You can search for campgrounds by state and county, and even filter out permanent RV parks.
RV LIFE comes with a free and paid version. View the website and app content, visit the forum, and leave RV campground reviews for free. Or, purchase the membership ($19.99 monthly or $49.99 annually) to get all the features of the RV Life app, including RV-specific GPS navigation that factors in your RV’s dimensions. There’s also a trip planning function, and the app works offline.
Is It Possible to Live in an RV Park for Years?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how long you can live at an RV park. Choose a month, a season, or the whole year – it’s all up to you. Not only can staying in permanent RV parks save you money and give you more downtime to enjoy your surroundings (hello, fewer travel days), you get the bonus of free amenities and no yard maintenance.
Whether you want to stay put on your site for as long as you can or move every month, you can do it all in the comfort of your home on wheels.
Now it’s your turn. How long could you stay at one site? If you had the chance, what area of the country would you stay in the long term?