How To Build An Rv Park From Scratch

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own recreational vehicle park? Imagine rows of RVs nestled among trees, with happy campers enjoying nature and community. Building an RV park from the ground up can help make this vision a reality, while also providing a lucrative business opportunity.

But the road to a successful RV park is not always smooth. Without careful planning and preparation, your dream could quickly veer into a nightmare of permit denials, construction delays, and budget overruns.

The good news is that with proper research, adherence to regulations, and step-by-step development, you can steer your RV park project down the highway to success. Critical factors include choosing an optimal location, designing sites and amenities that meet code, and allowing plenty of time and funds for the lengthy construction process.

This undertaking is certainly not for the faint of heart. But by acquiring the required licenses, installing essential utilities, and providing desirable guest features, you’ll be rewarded with a high-demand RV park that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Let’s hitch up and get rolling on the journey of constructing an RV oasis from the ground up. It’s a long and winding road ahead, but the destination will make it all worthwhile.

Craft a Detailed Business Plan

The first fundamental step is developing a business plan that outlines your goals and strategy. Important elements to include:

  • Executive summary – Briefly summarize your project and objectives.
  • Company description – Provide background on your experience and qualifications.
  • Market analysis – Research demand, competition, and target customer demographics.
  • Location evaluation – Explain site selection factors and accessibility.
  • Financial projections – Estimate costs for land, construction, staffing, etc. And project expected revenue.
  • Marketing strategy – Describe how you’ll promote the park and attract RVers.
  • Operations plan – Map out day-to-day management procedures.
  • Funding needs – Calculate how much startup and operating capital required.

Having a solid plan establishes credibility when applying for financing and permits.

Secure the Perfect Property

Choosing the right location is crucial for an RV park’s success. Ideal factors to consider:

  • Zoning allows for recreational vehicle parks.
  • Accessible from major highways and roads.
  • Scenic views and proximity to attractions.
  • Large enough acreage for planned sites and amenities.
  • Infrastructure like water, electric, and sewer accessible.
  • Mitigated natural disaster risks.
  • Area demographic includes many RVers.

Consult local zoning laws and purchase appropriately zoned land for development.

Obtain Required Licenses and Permits

Extensive permitting and paperwork is involved when building an RV park. Typical documentation needed:

  • Local zoning permits.
  • State health department licenses.
  • Septic system permits.
  • Water/wastewater permits.
  • Electrical and plumbing permits.
  • Building permits for structures.
  • Disability accessibility compliance.
  • Business licenses.
  • Liquor licenses if offering bar service.

Hire lawyers and contractors familiar with RV park regulations in your area.

Design the Park Layout

Work with a landscape architect or RV park designer to map out site plans. Consider:

  • Total number of RV sites needed.
  • Site dimensions and spacing requirements.
  • Roads, driveways, and parking areas.
  • Pedestrian paths and walkways.
  • Location of utility hookups.
  • Shared amenities like pool, office, laundry.
  • Landscaping, lighting, and signage.

Design for convenience and accessibility. Allow room for future expansion.

Install Infrastructure and Utilities

Major construction is involved to provide essential hookups at each site:

Water – Potable drinking water and pressurized hookups. Requires wells, pumps, storage tanks, lines, valves, and connections.

Sewer – Sewage and wastewater removal. Involves septic tanks, drain fields, dump stations, and piping.

Electric – 30/50 amp RV pedestals. Needs sufficient power supply, transformers, distribution panels, underground wiring.

PADs – Poured concrete foundations for parking RVs long-term.

Follow all codes and safety standards during installation.

Construct Support Buildings and Amenities

RVers expect certain amenities when camping. Important to include:

  • Central office/check-in building.
  • Restrooms/showers with hot water.
  • Dump station for waste disposal.
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Recreation areas like a pool, sports courts.
  • Camp store/cafe.
  • Fire pits and picnic tables at sites.
  • Wi-Fi and cable.
  • Playgrounds or pet area.

Also build roads, pathways, landscaping features, signs, and lighting.

Market and Promote Your New RV Park

Once construction nears completion, ramp up marketing efforts:

  • Create brochures and mailers to distribute.
  • Launch a website highlighting features.
  • Advertise on RVing blogs, magazines, and websites.
  • Attend RV rallies and expos to network.
  • Offer promotions and discounts to first visitors.
  • List park on directories like RV Park Reviews.
  • Spread the word on social media.

Ongoing marketing is key to attracting guests year-round.

Final Checklist Before Opening

Before accepting any reservations or visitors:

  • Pass all final inspections and obtain occupancy certificates.
  • Confirm compliance with ADA accessibility mandates.
  • Stock office, store, bathrooms, laundry with supplies.
  • Review emergency and maintenance procedures with staff.
  • Photograph grounds and sites for promotional materials.
  • Invite local media and officials for opening event.
  • Adjust rates and booking system if needed.
  • Purchase initial inventory for store.
  • Confirm all vendors, contractors, and suppliers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the typical cost to build an RV park from scratch?

A: The average cost to build a new RV park is $2 – $4 million for a smaller park up to $15 million or more for a large luxury resort park. Costs vary based on size, amenities, and location.

Q: Should I buy RV park franchise plans or design my own layout?

A: Purchasing a proven RV park franchise plan can save time and ensure optimal design. But designing your own custom layout allows more flexibility. Consult architects either way.

Q: How much land do I need to accommodate 50 RV sites?

A: Plan for at least 5 acres of land for a 50 site RV park. Each site typically requires 1,500 – 3,000 square feet plus roads, amenities and open recreational space.

Q: What permits and licenses do I need to operate an RV park?

A: Typical permits and licenses include zoning, construction, septic system, water, electric, plumbing, health department, business, liquor, food service and more. Regulations vary by state.

Q: Should my new RV park have pull-through or back-in sites?

A: Mix of both is best. Pull-through sites are convenient but back-in sites allow more privacy. 30′ x 60′ dimensions work for most sites. Include some larger premium sites too.

Welcome Your First RVers!

Celebrate your grand opening and welcome excited RVers to your new park! Provide top-notch service to build your reputation. Continually enhance amenities and refresh marketing to keep occupancy high year-round. With proper planning and hard work, your RV park can quickly shift from vacant land to vibrant destination. Let your entrepreneurial dreams take to the open road – start constructing your own successful RV resort today!

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