Well we think things are making a big impact on our lives. See if you agree?
The park we stay at each winter is Sundance 1 RV Resort in Casa Grande AZ It has everything we need and all the facilities to keep us busy. We have made friends with people in the park. It just feels like home when we arrive back around November 1st,
For the last couple of winters we have been looking at "Park Models" for sale.
To go back to basics let us explain the differences between our Motor Home and a Park Model.
The Monaco is classed as a Motor home, it is fully capable of moving along the road under its own power and contains all we need to live comfortably in it whether we are connected to outside power water and sewer or not.
A "Park Model" (sometimes called a Mobile Home, Trailer or even a Manufactured Home) is a prefabricated dwelling on a frame with wheels and axles underneath. Technically it's a trailer as it has a detachable hitch so it can be towed along, although usually they are moved on the back of a truck.
A Park Model contains all the facilities needed to live such as plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling BUT it does not have holding tanks for water, grey and black water. Neither does it have a generator or any 12 volt systems that can run off batteries.
That means that a Park Model always has to be connected to mains electric, water and sewer.
Because technically it's still a trailer it is registered as one for legal purposes. This relieves it from real estate taxes and the owner from being a permanent resident of the state where it is located.
The down side is that in most cases you don't own the land it is on an so have to pay "Ground Rent" on the lot annually. This can and does increase annually. The owner of the park can impose rules about the condition of units and upkeep of lots.
So does the purchase of the unit mean we are giving up travelling?
We still intend to travel. BUT we aren't getting any younger (We both turn 70 this year) and eventually we may decide to either cut down on how much time we spend on the road each year or to take a "Year Off".
We intend to winter in Casa Grande for the foreseeable future. We have watched the prices of units in the park steadily rise over the past couple of years.
So to us it makes sense to buy now. Another side to this is that during February and March there is a big demand for rental units. This gives us the opportunity to pay most of the annual grand rent by renting out the unit.
UH?? We are going to buy it and not live in it? Well not quite. We will arrive back in the park around November 1st as usual, but if we arrive early (Or late) it doesn't matter, we can move in whenever we want. We can stop by and stay for a week or so and carry on, there is no additional cost to do so.
Then from November until February we can live in it and store the RV in the storage yard on site. If we rent it out for a week or 2 we can get the RV out of storage and go camp at the Elks lodge. For longer periods we can find a spot locally of go down to Mexico if we want. Then we can move back in while we get the RV serviced and the park model cleaned up ready for laying it up for the summer.
The unit also has a BIG air conditioner so if for any reason we can't travel we will still be comfortable despite the 100+ degree weather.
So why not take an annual lease on a camping spot and just park the RV on it?
The Park Model is physically bigger than the RV. 12 feet wide compared to 8 1/2' and 40 ft long v 38'. It also comes with a storage shed containing a washer and dryer and there is a covered car port for parking. The bit we liked on this one is the back yard where I can paint and where we can have great parties with our friends.
Right now we still have 2 cars (The Fiesta law suit still hasn't settled). We can store one under the car port for the summer at no cost to us and put the battery on charge using a solar charger so it will be ready to go whenever we need it. Then for the winter we both have a vehicle, it's cheaper than renting one.
Some other advantages are Storage for stuff we don't need on the road and A PLACE TO HANG MY ARTWORK!
So we have been gathering together enough money to pay for it, thinking about the technicalities of TV, Internet etc and asking our friends who already own here what they do when it's closed up for the summer. We had a yard sale to get rid of stuff we don't use anymore like our bikes that have been rusting on the back of the RV for a year and a half!
So we are ready for the Big step.