Are New RV Parks Coming Soon To An Area Near You?
With RV shipments likely to reach record highs in 2021, you may be seeing a lot more RVs rolling down the road and set up at RV parks. This projection, gathered from a recent RVIA study, showed RV shipments topping out at around 533,356 units by the end of this year. That number would surpass the current record of 504,600 units shipped in 2017.
“RV parks are becoming destinations in themselves, much like regular resorts,” said Amir Hapaz, a 20-year veteran of the Florida RV park business and co-developer of Torrey Trails RV Resort in Palmetto, Florida. “Based on RV manufacturing numbers, for the foreseeable future, we’re going to continue seeing a need for more RV parks. There are already more RVs than sites in America.”
It may come as a relief to many avid RVers that more and more new parks and campground expansions are and will be popping up all across the nation this year in the wake of this recent growth. In fact, based on a survey of 516 campground and RV park operators throughout the U.S., the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) estimates that more than 53,000 new RV sites will be built across the country this year.
Campground development in Florida
New RV park development has been going on for a while, even before the pandemic, but the pace has picked up in 2021. Florida alone is experiencing many additions and changes in new construction, park accommodations, and amenities.
RV parks opening or under construction
According to Bobby Cornwell, Executive Director and CEO of the Florida and Alabama Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, close to 40 RV parks and resorts across Florida have either recently opened or are under construction. Collectively, by the end of 2022, a total of 7,000 new RV sites are expected to be ready for RVers to set up camp.
Catering to all RVers
Florida is a prime destination for snowbirds, with many RV parks catering to folks 55 and older. More RV parks in Florida are welcoming families with children. They are creating an atmosphere that appeals to all ages, from lodging to amenities. Splash RV Resort and Water Park in East Milton is currently under construction. It plans to offer RV cottages and Conestoga wagons besides RV sites. Campers will enjoy water slides, a lazy river, and many outdoor games.
Another area being addressed is campground amenities. Along with adding to existing services to cater to the influx of campers, RV parks are investing in higher-end amenities. The Waves RV Resort in Naples is adding $2 million in improvements. The amenities include a zero-entry resort-style swimming pool, new landscaping, and renovation of a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Challenges RV park developers are facing
With success comes challenges and RV park developers continue to face obstacles during planning, construction, and improvement phases. One giant hurdle many developers are facing is high land prices and local zoning issues.
“There’s a misconception among many local governments that RV parks are the same as trailer parks. We need to educate them, so they’ll see how RV parks contribute to the local tourism industry,” mentioned Hapaz.
On another note, Tristan Farrell, president of Sunlight RV Resorts, said the most challenging part has been keeping up with customer queries about their new and expanding resorts.
“The demand is overwhelming,” Farrell said “We are taking between 300-500 reservations per week — most of which are for 8-12 months in advance. People are booking not based on what they see on-site or online, but on what they know is coming. They want to have their spot lined up!”
Find RV parks using RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard
When planning your next RV campground stay, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds. Find RV park information on sites and amenities, photos, and camper reviews for selected locations. The following video details how folks can utilize Campground Review and Google Maps to learn about a park.
For RV-safe directions, RV LIFE Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App is the best choice for mapping out your route. Customize your journey with route preferences, your RV specifications, budgeting tools, and much more.