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Longterm Leases For RV Campsites - What Are The Pros And Cons?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

The past 10-years have seen an array of RV campsite ownership models, lease and private use agreements being marketed to RV owners. Alberta and BC resort developers have, at times, been at odds with their respective real estate boards and/or local planning authorities. So, when choosing to secure a private RV campsite (longterm or otherwise), it is important to understand what the options are, what the benefits are and what, if any, are the major drawbacks or cons of each sale or agreement.

“Have you done your research? Everyone, when making a major investment and signing a legal agreement, should have completed their own due diligence by thoroughly researching the project, the developer and any associated sales/marketing representatives, their operating companies and their history.”

Pros And Cons Of The Longterm Lease Agreement.

When considering the longterm lease agreement you'll have to weigh the pros and cons - here are some possible things to consider that we've identified:

Benefits - The Pros:

1) Private use with no more reservations required during the term.

2) Ability to build a deck, add a shed, gazebo and beautify your RV campsite.

3) No more need to constantly haul your RV trailer from campground to campground.

4) Storage is typically part of the lease agreement - so there's a cost savings for you.

5) Flexibility to sell, transfer and sub-rent the RV lot are typical lease benefits.

6) Friends and family campsites are usually available for rent at a preferred rate.

7) Resort amenities at private RV parks and resorts are typically in place or being developed, offering more recreation opportunities than an average public campground facility.

Things To Keep In Mind And The Cons:

1) Initial lease payment is upfront and averages in the $30K range for a period between 25 to 40-years, with a monthly fee to cover your share of various resort services, taxes & utilities.

2) You will have to ensure you are keeping up with regular maintenance of your campsite ie: cutting grass, weeding, etc. This really isn't much of a "con" depending on how far away your campsite is or whether or not the resort will cut your RV lot's grass when you're not there.

3) Is any of the money you're paying upfront held in trust until any promised work is completed? What are the conditions for the release of those funds?

4) Security. How secure is the RV park campground is you're leaving your RV onsite year round? How much insurance will you need to carry if it's sitting longterm in a forested area? Is there an onsite, year round park manager for security?

5) If the resort happens to change ownership in the future, would the new owner be obliged by the lease to honour the longterm use agreement - is that stated anywhere in the lease?

6) Fees. Are fees capped? Who controls setting the fees moving forward during the term? Is there a board of owners who vote on the fees or does the campground owner set the rate based on the previous year's budget report? Who pays for major amenities to be refurbished, renovated or replaced?

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when looking at signing a lease. The most important being - are the funds in trust and can you trust the people you are handing your hard earned cash to? TIP: Do your research online - ask for references you can contact, if it's a new development or one in the progress of being developed, ask for previous project details so you can research them. Check Google Reviews. Search to see what other companies they may be part of and what their credentials are in order to ensure you're dealing with reputable people.

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