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What Is a Park Model RV?

What Is a Park Model RV? 

You’ve seen them at the dealerships and in the campgrounds. They’re on wheels, but they look more like a tiny house than a RV.

They’re called Park Model RVs, and they are meant to be used in one spot for longer periods of time, rather than taking it on the road.

But, can you take them on the road? Will they hold up better over time. And, most importantly, is a park model RV right for you?

Let’s dive in.

Here’s the Scoop on Park Model RVs?

A park model RV is an RV that can be towed over the road. However, it is not made for long journeys or frequent moves.

Most of them come with a short loft for sleeping, or storing items.

It has a kitchen, living area, a first-floor bedroom as well as a full bathroom. Usually, they have all residential appliances and furnishings.

Pro Tip: This two-story RV is actually a park model.

What Makes an RV a Park Model

Park model RVs can be set up anywhere there are hookups for electric, sewer, and water. They are not equipped for boondocking or living off the grid.

These trailers can be used on any property where RVs can be parked, and do not need a special permit. Some people use park model RVs as in-law apartments or rental properties on their own land.

However, because they are seasonal residences, they might not be practical in the winter in the north.

Do Park Model RVs Have Holding Tanks?

There are no tanks in a park model RV, making it unworkable as an RV that camps off-grid. In this way, it truly is like a home.

The park models must be hooked up to sewer, water, and electricity to function as they were designed.

Here’s a park model from Forest River

Can You Live in a Park Model Year Round?

It is not recommended that you live in a park model year-round. However, in certain climates, it might make sense as long as it’s set up in a legal site and is hooked into all of the services.

It could be an option for in-laws, older children returning to the nest, or to be a money-making venture if you live in an area where people do short term rentals.

Pro Tip: If you want to live (and move) in an RV full-time, we recommend on of these top 5th Wheel RVs.

Destination Trailers vs Park Model RVs

A destination trailer is more like an RV than a park model because it has tanks for water and waste. They are still RVs that are taken to a campground and left there for the season.

They could be moved by a large truck at the end of the camping time and taken to another location, possibly, a warmer location, for the other half of the year.

Destination trailers might have slide-outs, unlike the park models. Destination trailers also have residential features like refrigerators, big windows, electric fireplaces, and other luxuries.

Benefits of Owning a Park Model RV

If you find a location at a campground that you really enjoy, it makes sense to look into getting a park model.

When a campground has the amenities you want and the social atmosphere you desire, then getting a park model RV isn’t a bad idea. You’ll be very comfortable and have many of the creature comforts you would have at a sticks and bricks house.

The cost of living in a park model could be cheaper than owning a home with land.

You will pay for your seasonal site and any additional costs that may have, like metered electricity, but you won’t have the many fees, taxes, and costs associated with homeownership.

Many park models have washers and dryers, dishwashers, and are built with real wood. They can be used for 50 plus years and still remain solid with routine maintenance.

Inside Info: Often, long term RV parks welcome park models and offer more affordable rates.

Is a Park Model for You?

If you like the camping lifestyle and living at a campground with the amenities and activities they provide, but you are through driving from place to place around the country, then perhaps looking into a park model RV is the right choice for you.

Park models start at around $24,900, making them a reasonable expense to enjoy camping without some of the hassle of a towable RV.

Park models can allow the whole family to get together for fun and fellowship while having the perks of home and the pluses of the campground facilities at your fingertips. 

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