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Old 01-03-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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Buying a Camp Site

I see ads for camp sites for sale and wonder if there are any pros and cons to owning one? Does it make sense to own only if you are a full-timer?

Some of these places are very fancy and require Class A or Class C motor homes only. Clearly they don't understand that one Airstream would add immediate class to any such facility.

Anyway, I was just wonderin'.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:30 PM   #2
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There are lots of circumstances where buying a campsite makes sense and full-timing is one of them. One of the best arguments is that if you like the same general area and frequent it, or if you like to spend the entire winter (or summer) in one local such as Florida. Competition from the on-slaught of baby-boomers heading to the Sunshine State for the winter produced great difficulty in securing a long term site. Many people buy a site at their favorite campground to ensure they have a site for the season. They then rent it out during the off-season when they are not using it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Another option is like Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, CA. There may be other parks that work this way, I don't know.

You don't buy a site, but rather a share in the corporation. There are only 1800 shares. Shares are sold on the open market. Someone must want to sell in order for someone else to buy. Each share (you are limited to three and there are about 1500 shareholders) gives you 25 prime time days and 20 off prime days. You may trade one prime day for two off prime days, giving you up to 70 days. Prime time is summer and holiday weekends. There is no fee what so ever for share holders. You call, make a reservation and go. Usually about half of the 400 spaces are held back for a time for shareholders. All of the bills are paid by non-share holders staying there, and by people storing their campers in the several storage lots owned by the corporation.
Shareholders may have one guest per share while they are at the park. Close family members may use your share without you being there.
When you no longer want the share, you may sell it.

It has worked very well for many years, but again, you must like the area as it is not transferable to another park.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Different Lifestyles

There have always been options for people who like to "camp" but don't want to head out unsure of their ability to actually find a good spot. The first ones that come to mind are all of the clubs like American Trails and programs similar. Now, with the baby boomers coming on strong, there are more options to actually purchase a place. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.

A few years ago I was reading another forum and folks there would say that they were headed out to the "lease" this weekend and they were looking forward to getting out of town. After researching this idea of a "lease" I found that in many localities it is easier to actually lease a spot of land from a land owner than to take your chances at the state camp ground. I am from Washington state and we have a huge selection of options available to the common guy, many of them free. I was looking at a website that showed the amount of publicly owned land by state and I was shocked by the situation back east. Texas has something like 98.7% of its land privately owned. Yes, they do have state and public parks but camping at these might be a bit of challenge. Hence, the allure of joining associations and/or actually buying your spot.

When I am on the road, I try to find spots in campgrounds but usually end up at a privately owned park somewhere. I am OK with this since I am traveling and not really camping.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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Be sure and check the financial strength of the cooperative/management company/association/whatever. Some are underfunded and raise dues, cut services, cut maintainence, or simply close leaving shareholders with nothing.

The Minnesota Airstarem park (airstreampark.com) is a unique organization among share-based campgrounds, in that it only permits Airstream-manufactured units on the lots.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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If you are interested in a camp-site for summer use, the Minnesota Airstream Park is a bargain! After the initial buy-in running between $4000-14,000 depending on amenties, it is a only $970 per season-April 15-Oct 15. As mentioned this is an all Airstream community with pool, golf, gardens, biking and more. Come have a look this summer!
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
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We have owned two lots at Texas Airstream Harbor Inc. for a few years. We are planning on going full time in August this year and are trying to decide where to sell them or not because we want to travel more, but we do like it there.

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Old 01-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Tex4Fun View Post
If you are interested in a camp-site for summer use, the Minnesota Airstream Park is a bargain! After the initial buy-in running between $4000-14,000 depending on amenties, it is a only $970 per season-April 15-Oct 15. As mentioned this is an all Airstream community with pool, golf, gardens, biking and more. Come have a look this summer!
Minnesota? I'll visit there when they run Michelle Bachman out of town on a rail.

Anyway, I have my eye on two which are on the Oregon coast. They both are on the ocean but are pricey (imho) at $149k and $160k, respectively. We are a long way off from even thinking about doing this but it's never too early to do research.

We belong to Thousand Trails which has been nice but I may let our temporary membership lapse next year. There are much nicer private campgrounds out there.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleenh View Post
I see ads for camp sites for sale and wonder if there are any pros and cons to owning one? Does it make sense to own only if you are a full-timer?

Some of these places are very fancy and require Class A or Class C motor homes only. Clearly they don't understand that one Airstream would add immediate class to any such facility.

Anyway, I was just wonderin'.

What time of year and how many days per year would you spend in a space that you own?

Do you intend to do some traveling or just stay put?
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:59 PM   #10
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i would never buy a camp site unless i was to old and in bad health to tow anymore.
i like to go to different campgrounds.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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Kathleen

We own a seasonal site at Ponderosa Shadows Airstream Only park in Show Low AZ. Our site prices are about $39K with dues at $550 per year. ( 55 yoa or older) We owned at Port Susan in Washington, which was an all year park which allowed any kind of RV or Park Model. If you want to see pictures google Ponderosa Shadows in Show Low AZ.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:31 PM   #12
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Rather than buying a site in an established campground/resort, has anyone bought an actual lot at the destination of their choice? Either with an electric meter, sewer/septic connection and a water meter already in place or improving the lot yourself. What about zoning?
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:19 PM   #13
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I think that you would just have to do the math

Get out pencil and paper. Make a couple of varying lifestyle scenarios.
Take everything into account. Price of the RV parks that you like, days on the road, days sitting still, price of campgrounds. Will you need a place to store tools, heirlooms, and keepsakes?
I guess for some people it's cheaper to pay as you go, and better for those who value having options.
There are some places by me where people rent sites by the river, on a yearly basis, and use it as a vacation home. They NEVER tow.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stephen Ky View Post
Rather than buying a site in an established campground/resort, has anyone bought an actual lot at the destination of their choice? Either with an electric meter, sewer/septic connection and a water meter already in place or improving the lot yourself. What about zoning?
Such places are available in Quartzsite and Yuma Arizona, perhaps other places as well. These have three RV hook-ups. One on each side of the lot, and one at the rear suitable for a park model. Some folks fix them up real fancy, others do nothing at all, and you see everything in between.
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