It’s a little bit like camping — on steroids. As reported by Palm Springs Life, huge homes sit on wheels and stretch at least 30-feet long.
They are parked on 40- by 120-foot lots next to casitas, swimming pools and elaborate outdoor barbecue areas with built-in, flat screen TVs. The lots are surrounded by a two-mile-long lake that residents can navigate by electric boat. There is a nine-hole golf course, three tennis courts, and a restaurant inside of a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Actually, it is less like camping and more like spending your days in a country club. Take away the enormous motor homes — which cost between $150,000 to more than $1 million — that are parked all around the 80-acre site and replace them with condos, and you would have your standard, high-end community in California’s Coachella Valley .
Most people who spend the season at Indio’s Motorcoach Country Club have the means to live in a huge gated estate, so why do they instead choose to live, at least part of the year, in their vehicles?
“Why would you live in a long tin can,” joked longtime Mortorcoach Country Club resident Jan Hagen. “It’s the camaraderie, the friendliness of the people, and the activities.”
Hagen doesn’t just wave to his neighbors when he steps outside to get his mail — he knows them as friends.
“During the season, you’re not in your coach very much so you see people and a camaraderie develops,” Hagen said. “It makes a big difference … just the nature of living outside.”
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Plans for a motorhome resort in Paso Robles, Calif., are moving ahead, despite an appeal filed by the Circle B Homeowners Association.
The Paso Robles Press reported that on April 3 the Paso Robles City Council voted 4-1 with Mayor Duane Picanco dissenting to deny the appeal, which challenged the city planning commission’s Feb. 14 action approving the Paso Robles RV Resort Project.
The project is located on a 73-acre site at the northern end of Golden Hill Road and would consist of the the development of 332 RV spaces. The project underwent several changes since the council approved a mitigated negative declaration in March of 2009 allowing the development of the 332 spaces.
The crux of the issue was whether the project, originally designed as a Class A, high-end motorcoach resort, was amended to the degree to be out of line with the spirit of the approval.
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People are coming back to Alabama’s beaches, and a lot of them are driving high-end recreational vehicles.
The Press-Enterprise reported that six RV lots have sold in Bella Terra of Gulf Shores in the past two months, prompting developers to put the remaining 65 lots up for sale, according to Chuck Smith, a partner in the development. So far, 110 potential buyers have signed up to buy one of the lots, Smith said. Lot prices range from $120,000 to $170,000 for lakefront sites.
Bella Terra and another local development, Heritage Motor Coach Resort and Marina, cater to the Class A motor coaches. The resorts and parks that serve them sell campsites and rent them out when the owners are traveling.
RV lovers may own a million-dollar coach, but they parked the condominium on wheels when the economy slowed and prices at the gas pumps increased, RV sales agents said. Still, sales and rentals were going well last year until the BP oil spill hit in April and “everybody vanished,” Smith said. But in the last 60 days, sales and interest have increased, he said.
“People are coming back to the Gulf,” agreed Jim Howard, resort director at Heritage, on Bayou St. John in Orange Beach. “We had an awesome June. We sold 10 resort sites. We have now sold 46 of the 79 sites.”
Heritage sites start at $165,000. A waterfront site with a coach house or guest house can be as high as $409,000. That park includes a private, 42-slip marina.
Owning a half-million dollar RV is a lifestyle choice, Smith said. “Most of the owners are retired and generally have the means to invest in something they want. They love the resort. It’s a place they can call home when they’re not on the road.”
The final phase of 65 lots in 175-lot Bella Terra will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, he said, adding “Many, if not most on the list, have stayed at Bella Terra or heard of us.”
Howard said RV owners are seeing that if they don’t do something now, the lots won’t be there later.
“A lot of our clients come in and rent for a week and get addicted to the place and decide to buy a site,” Howard said.