RV Parks Provide Alternative Housing
Recreational vehicle park managers in the Boise, Idaho, area say they are seeing more people moving into RVs full time, but spaces are limited. There are only 10 RV parks in the Treasure Valley and park owners and managers say their monthly spaces are nearly full, according to Boise's Idaho Statesman.
"We've had three families move in this week," said the manager of Mountain View RV Park in Boise, who declined to give his last name. "I have one tenant who got last month's rent from her church."
Like many of the RV campgrounds, Mountain View is required to keep a percentage of its 63 spaces available for daily and weekly Good Sam and AAA campers. The remaining spaces, which are available for monthly rentals, are full.
Calvin Cummings, manager of Boise Meridian RV Resort in Meridian, said he is hearing from more people considering living in RVs beyond the usual retirees heading for a carefree life on the open road.
"There have been working-age people who can't afford a home move in here," he said. "We have about 70 residents who pay month to month."
Spaces rent for $400 a month, which includes a sewer hookup and water. Most people heat the homes with propane. Cummings said residents spend as much as $150 a month to heat their RVs in winter.
Condensation is a problem. Cummings said most people use the campground's showers instead of their trailers' and are careful about cooking to avoid raising the humidity in the small living spaces.
"It's a fairly inexpensive way to live if you can put up with cold and small spaces," he said.
For some who are downsizing, a new RV has become an option.
Matthew Young, general manager at Camping World RV Sales at 1580 W. Overland Road, said business is down from two years ago, but January was actually a very good month.
He said he has been selling more RVs to people looking for less expensive housing, but they generally don't tell him directly because banks usually won't finance an RV if it is going to be a primary residence.