A park model is actually just a trailer, but with a smaller, more luxurious twist. It's "basically designed for people who are used to a certain standard of living," says spokesman, Bill Garpow, Executive Director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association in Newnan, Ga. The unit itself isn't as long as a traditional trailer, leaning more toward the length of an average travel trailer--about 35 to 40 feet. The growing popularity of the park model has a lot to do with its flexible size, increased attractiveness and plush interior.
Home Away From Home
People who want an easy, convenient getaway home often opt for a park model. The unit can remain set up and ready for any vacation--long or short term. It has all of the conveniences of home including sleeping, dining, cooking and bathroom facilities with a bigger, more permanent feel than a travel trailer. Owners often compare the cost of owning a unit to a couple of weeks at a resort every year. When compared to the purchase of a more permanent structure like a condominium, the price of a park model is considerably less. Plus, the units aren't taxed as permanent dwellings.
The park model doesn't require any special licensing or permits to tow. This makes it a unique choice that can be placed in any tight spot and moved as needed. It can even be used where a living space is needed, but a traditional trailer is too large.
Seasonal Living Space
The park model itself is designed to be used on a seasonal basis. Retirees often find that it meets their needs as a temporary home. Families find it a great way to escape city life and hang out in a modern home-away-from-home in a safe country or resort location. A park model unit can be placed in a resort area to be used as a rental unit. It's an easy way to add a guest house. Many RV parks that don't allow traditional trailers or mobile homes do allow park models. Unlike a travel trailer, the park model doesn't have the typical 12-volt electrical system and it isn't self-contained. It's actually meant to be set up full-time in one place, connected to local electric and water.
The park model is considered an RV vehicle and therefore must conform to the same standards. It can be a maximum area of 400 square feet when setup and it can't be any wider than 102 inches when it's towed. It can have up to two slide-outs, which can extend the park model by as much as three and a-half feet with the touch of a button.
Cabin Design or Winterized Options
Most dealers offer a park model that's designed like a cabin. Most park models can be upgraded to be fully winterized; this can include a furnace, double-pane windows, an upgrade in insulation and more.
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