One of the worst-kept secrets in the small housing industry is Park Model homes. Everyone is familiar with the standard motorhome and trailer RVs, but park models are a bit more unusual.
Essentially, a park model RV is a temporary home that’s created specifically for a trailer park setting. They’re designed for longer periods of sustained use, but most of them are still best for just a few months at a time.
Park models resemble mobile homes or tiny houses. They can’t have more than 400 square feet in their floor plan. But they are spacious, cozy, and easy to fit on a standard trailer park lot.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) creates guidelines and regulations for park models. These park model guidelines vary from state to state.
With many campgrounds across North America looking to expand and add amenities, the park model business is thriving, according to Dick Grymonprez, director of park model sales for Champion Home Builders Inc.
“We’re doing really well right now,” Grymonprez said “The campground business is doing really well right now. So that’s where our growth is, in the campground resort communities.”
Each Champion park model plant has “one or two or three dealers in a state, maybe,” he said. “But where the growth is – where the numbers are coming from – are the big communities, like Sun Communities, Cove, Equity Lifestyles. All the big community owners are growing their RV portfolios and putting in RV parks so they need rentals. And they’re buying park models for rentals.”
And while that’s where the biggest growth is, the entire industry is growing as well.
The pace of manufacturing has limited innovation in this year’s models and while “there’s not anything that’s earthshaking new, we’re finding that customers are looking for more sleeping accommodations right now. So we’re building floor plans that have bunk rooms, plus a loft. We’re selling a lot more lofts than we used to and we’re also doing bigger porches with a lot of outdoor space.”
Wood-burning fireplaces on those porches are also very popular in the current lineup, he added. Overall, Grymonprez’s outlook for the upcoming year is positive.
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Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach