Is Full-time RV Park Living for You?
There are many great benefits to living in an RV full time in a park. At the beginning of our RV life, my husband and I decided we could save money working our full time jobs while living in our RV. Once we had our rig and truck paid off, we would hit the road. We lived in a long term park for eight months before we launched out to work camp and travel.
We left a bit before we wanted to, but when we finally did make the leap, we had a lot of our truck and rig paid off, and we were able to be confident about paying our bills on the road, for the most part.
Yes, you can live in an RV park all year long.
Not all parks have long-term rentals and you may have to get creative to find a place for your rig. We spent a spring and summer in Kansas City, Missouri, and had a total of three RV parks to choose from.
I have to say, Kansas City is not an RV mecca. One park was full, one was less than acceptable based on its location, and one didn’t take long-term stays. We changed our search parameters a bit and ended up at a mobile home park with RV sites.
With decent sites and directly connected internet and cable, lots of grass for the dog, cement pads, and some great neighbors, we felt very lucky to find it. We were thankful to be in a permanent place when COVID hit just after our arrival.
What is a long-term RV park?
A long-term RV park is just what it sounds like. You stay there as you would in a home for months or even years. Some may be better than others, so do your due diligence. Many parks utilize a certain percentage of the park for long-term use.
In some places, you may even be able to purchase your lot. Some may live in their RV full time, while others may use their rig as a vacation home and spend weekends or certain times of the year there.
How do you find a long-term RV park?
Long-term RV parks aren’t that hard to find, depending on what state or city you are living in. As I said earlier, Kansas City was a difficult place to find any RV park. If you live in, or are headed to somewhere in Florida or Texas, you will probably find a park around every corner.
You can find RV parks with a quick search on RV LIFE Campgrounds or while planning your route with RV LIFE Pro. Make sure to read the reviews, check out the photos, and visit the RV park websites to learn more about their amenities and policies. It’s always best to visit the place beforehand if you plan to stay there long-term.
“We’ve been in the William O’Darby RV Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas for a little over a year. The best part of the RV community we’re in is that I don’t have to worry about any extra bills. Our rent includes the electricity and water. We also have access to DirectTV through the Cox TV cable box they supplied us with when we moved in. The park is located in the Camp Chaffee Historical District.
The William O’Darby RV Park is close enough to the city that I can have access to the city without having to deal with all the traffic and noise in our RV Park. We are close to an active military base so sometimes we do hear them practice with their bombs and guns. But that’s about it. I also love that we’re in a place that values different cultures and traditions.” Allison Bruning, work-from-home teacher, author and publisher
The benefits of staying in a long-term RV park
Living in an RV full time in a park can provide a lot of benefits. Most parks have discounts for long term stays, but you also need to take into account other things you might have to pay for separately. Does the park rental include utilities? Do you have to provide a deposit and get them turned on? Some parks read your meter every month and provide you with a bill. Water usage might be a set fee every month.
Does the park have other amenities for long-term stays such as a laundry facility, good Wi-Fi, or internet and cable that is hard-wired to your rig?
Other benefits such as a pool, fitness facility, and opportunities for social gatherings are also some added bonuses to consider. The cost you pay for rent might be more depending on the extras provided.
Is it cheaper to RV full time in a park?
I would say that it is cheaper to live in an RV full time in a park. You may have all your utilities blended into your rent. Your lot rent is probably going to be cheaper than a mortgage. You have no yard to mow or equipment to purchase for upkeep. If you aren’t moving your rig very often, you also won’t have to pay for as much gasoline, and you will have less wear and tear on the vehicle you tow with or motorhome.
The best part might be, if you find you don’t like where you are at, you can always move sites or change parks completely.
The downsides to living in an RV full time in a park
If you choose not to move your rig at all, you may have issues from it just sitting in one place for a long period of time. This could include tire wear, rust, or damage to your RV. If you choose a place where salt is in the air, it can cause damage or rust. You might have a problem closing slides due to degradation of the outside rubber.
There are some parks that allow RVs to stay for too long. The rigs look so rusted over that they couldn’t move them if they tried, and there is accumulated junk littering the area. These might be parks you want to stay away from.
Is stationary RV living worth it?
If you are someone who doesn’t mind small spaces and you need to be more minimalistic, then I would say it is worth it. My husband and I have been in our RV for three years now, usually staying five or six months in one place because we work camp.
The smaller living has never bothered me. I’ve gotten used to it. Here are a few final thoughts to keep you sane while in your RV, whether stationary or not.
- Keep clutter to a minimum.
- Maximize storage space.
- Use the “bring something in, take something out” rule.
- Create an outdoor living space so you can get outside in a comfortable place.
- Inspect your rig on a regular basis, including bringing in your slides and checking your tires. Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance with an online tool like RV LIFE Maintenance.
Find your next RV park
Choosing the right campground is important. It can be the difference between an RV trip, and a great RV trip. RV LIFE Campgrounds is the most trusted source of campground information in the industry. Millions of RVers use and trust RV LIFE Campgrounds, which also provides the vast resources available in RV LIFE Pro, the best tool for planning and navigating your RV trips.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.