Were we the lucky ones! We found a fabulous park that matched our lifestyle, and we have been spending our winters there ever since. We thought we would do a different city each winter so we’d experience lots of cultural influences, but we made so many friends and became so active within our newly discovered RV resort in Arizona that we had no desire to pursue others.
Which leads me to our next step—or should I say stumble. We always think we’re smart and have a plan, but when we look back, it seems we just had darn good luck. We were at our RV park, Valle del Oro, for only about four months when we got an opportunity to buy and install a park model there, and although we hadn’t known much about park models, we took it.
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard the term “park model” if you live in the world of jobs kids, and soccer games. But most likely if you’re retired, you’ve heard about these small but roomy homes.
A park model is a well-designed trailer of up to 400 square feet that is intended to be parked at a destination for an extended period, if not permanently. It has a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area with plenty of closets and cupboards.
Living in a park model is not much different from living in a RV except for some additional features such as a full-size refrigerator with automatic defrost, a dishwasher instead of my sometimes will/sometimes won’t husband, a real honest-to-goodness electric range with a huge oven (It appears huge after time in the motorhome although non-RV people would refer to it as regular size), and a full-powered shower.
So, we bought this park model and began sorting through things to determine what would stay in the motorhome and what would go into the park model. We had to pay a few visits to garage sales and second-hand stores to furnish this new home.
Our plan was to spend the winter in the park model, travel in our motorhome for extended periods and live part time at our home in Colorado. But all of a sudden our life took a somersault when we sold our stick house in Colorado and found ourselves homeless except for our RV and park model. We were fine without all those maintenance demands and utility bills a stick house requires but we found that the park model was too small to display my art quilts and my husband’s woodcarvings.
We spent some time researching our options and decided that adding an Arizona room to our park model would be just what we needed. I think these same room additions are called California rooms in California and Florida rooms in Florida.
We’re kind of lazy so we decided to sell our existing park model and find a different one with the Arizona room already in place rather than contract to have one built.
It took less than a day to find one that was about to go on the market, and we made the deal on the spot. Remember, we always luck into these things. Now, we have double the space and I’m a happy camper with walls galore, two full bathrooms and our own laundry area.
We’ve lived in houses of all different sizes during our life, but we have the most fun in our little house in the Valley of the Sun.
Marti French is a writer who lives in Arizona when not traveling in an RVResearch Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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