RV Tech Talk

RV park models: the RV’s big brother

RV travellers are gravitating toward recreational park model homes.

There will always be folks who enjoy the thrill of the open road, travelling long distances to experience the excitement of exploring new destinations. But the recent economic climate has changed the RV lifestyle nationwide. If you combine the rising fuel costs, it can make it difficult to afford the same motorhome or towable RV vacation for some families. Some RVers will change their plans to either take shorter trips or stay for longer periods at the campground or resort to reduce associated expenses and make their vacation more affordable.

In recent years, there has been significant interest in recreational park model homes for long-term site placements in everything from campground parks to upscale RV resorts. The uncertainity of the real estate market has also made this a suitable choice for a high quality, lower-costing and lower-maintenance alternative to a residential cottage or summer home. These units can be customized to suit the seasons in your area with full season service hook-ups at some RV resorts.

There are two classes of these units available in Canada. One is the park model trailer 102, which is built to RV specifications using the Canadian Standards Association code Z- 240. The other class is the park model recreational unit which will usually be set up at one location and is built using the CSA Z-241 standards if sold in Canada. The CSA Z-241 standards have structural requirements that are designed to ensure compliance with national and provincial building codes, as well as local building regulations.

The park model units will usually have all the residential amenities and appliances like two-door fridges, 20-gallon water heaters, gas ranges and high-BTU furnaces. For an even more residential environment, lots of models are offered with a stackable washer/dryer combo. The structural comparisons to an RV trailer are quite remarkable. It is not uncommon to see 2x4 or 2x6 studded sidewalls, high R-value insulation and gyproc interior walls. Many units will have double sliding glass patio doors, vinyl windows and lap cedar or vinyl siding. There are a couple of manufacturers offering a pre-wired solar package to allow the homeowner to have an off-power grid system to suit their locality.

The interiors can be purchased with numerous floor plan choices with loft-type bedrooms, gas slate-look fireplaces and ceramic tiles in the kitchen.

In speaking with Al Bodnaruk, sales associate, with RV Resort Leases and Park Model Sales just a few miles south of Cranbrook, he said, “The curb appeal of a park model bodes well for both RVers or non-RVers alike with the addition of covered decks, hot tubs, saunas and outside cooking stations.”

The Fleetwood Home, Keystone Residence and General Coach park models are available at this location and the local area has a reasonable choice of floor plans, options and interior colours to choose from.

The future of the park model industry should continue to expand and gain popularity with many RV manufacturers recognizing the demand and adding a park model division to their company or established builders increasing dealer locations nationwide. There also is growing interest in RV resorts ramping up to offer more amenities to accommodate these units with the addition of such services as 50-amp electrical hookups, concrete set-up pads and paved parking areas.

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