Friday, April 22, 2011

How the Other Half Lives

When we first started full timing, I had this vision of the RV lifestyle...we'd be taking our big 40ft. rig and squeezing into state parks, national parks, campgrounds in the woods, having a campfire most every night, and just bringing our home with us with all the amenities right in our big backyard of wherever we were. That was true for quite a while. As we traveled more and more, we started seeing places called "RV resorts" and the prices weren't that bad, still under our budget of 30.00 a night.

So we stayed in some of these places....very nice...with pools, maybe a tennis court or two, shuffleball court....a nice clubhouse, and maybe, if we were  lucky, a small fitness room. The resorts started getting nicer, and the prices started to climb a we are talking about 40-55 dollars a night. But we would look for deals like stay two nights, get one free, so we were still able to stay very close to our budget. Such places as Hidden Ridge RV resort in Hopkins, MI, Sunnybrook RV Resort in South Haven, MI, and Signature Motorcoach Resort in Naples are just a few of the nicer RV resorts. If you watch for deals, you can stay in a very nice place for less than the cost of a hotel room if you are looking for short getaways in an RV.....even for longer stays, beautiful RV resorts can be found such as the one we just came from, Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort, which we stayed at for 18.00 due to specials they were having. That was the nicest one we have found so far---sewing room, stained glass workshop, woodworking shop, lawn bowling, all kinds of clubs, 18 hole golf course on the premises, you name it, this place had it! (But not a massage therapist, lol!)

the waterway at Motorcoach Country Club
It's been an eye opener to see the quality and pricing of modern RV resorts that are TRULY resorts...a couple of days ago we went to a place in Indio, CA. that was the epitome of luxury and ritz for RV owners, although we didn't know it until we went for a tour. The name of the place in Indio is Motorcoach Country Club. (That was our first clue this was a pretty exclusive place!) We just wanted to see what the prices were and if they had any deals for a few days' stay. It's gated, and normally you can just tell the guard you want to drive in and look around. Nope! Not at this place. The salesman takes you around, no pressure, really nice guy...but we enjoyed the tour, and it was jaw dropping, to say the least! 

How about a personal lot with "infinity" pools, waterfalls, huge outdoor kitchens with two fridges, ice maker, outdoor dishwasher, gazebos, gas fireplaces, granite countertops outdoors (they seemed to be the norm), personal swimming pools and hot tubs on some of the lots, casitas (little apartments furnished for guests), a first class restaurant on the premises, HUGE clubhouse, two miles of navigable waterways, an 18 hole golf course that you can use carts on, 2 tees on each hole, 200 amp service TO EACH LOT, natural gas to each lot, and private docks on all waterfront lots?  The water front lot with the personal hot tub, infinity pool, huge shaded pergola entertainment center with granite countertops was on the waterfront, and it was selling for $869,000!  They had several lots in the $74,000-89,000 range that were undeveloped and around the perimeter of the place, so there were more affordable spots to be had. You have to pay 495.00 a month for city water, sewer, cable, trash pickup, mowing and watering, and the golf, tennis and health club and you pay $1400 a year (for owners) up front for dining at the restaurant, which appeared to be first class--on a hill overlooking the entire complex, and featuring moderate prices.

Here are a couple of sample listings from the salesman's lot listings:
Privacy - Developed Lot
Lot 20 - $179,900
Reduced from $189,900

South facing privacy lot with a totally enclosed backyard. Casita with a marble and tiled shower and bath, microwave, refridgerator with ice maker, TV and couch. The pool and spa have LED lighting with 8 different choices of color and the controls are located in the casita. There are 2 water features, natural gas tiki torches, 3 misting fans that cool the backyard by more than 20 degrees on hot days, landscape lighting and dimmable wall lighting in the patio area. There is also pet friendly synthetic grass. Great landscaping both front and back.

No? How about this one?

Privacy - Developed Lot
Lot 372 - $995,000
This lot was originally priced at $1,300,050 and has now been reduced to $995,000!

This 9,000 plus square foot lot in the southeast corner of the resort is one of the largest lots ever built in an RV facility. This lot features paver throughout and mature landscaping. After passing through the gates to the backyard, you will not believe your eyes. A curved grassy area for pets, and the largest privately owned pool in an RV resort. The pool features a raised spa and a swim under grotto with waterfalls. Two tanning shelves, boulders all across back side of pool - and the poo is 70' across. The lot has 25 palms and an elevated private patio in the extreme southwest corner of the lot. A beautiful covered patio that has granite countertops, BBQ, refridgerator, oven, dish washer, wine refridgerator, warming drawers, double sinks and much more. TV compartment, sitting area, heat lamps and a lot of section under roof. The casita has bath shower and is set up perfectly for an office. Near the pool there is also a raised firepit. If you thought you had seen it all - you haven't!!

So this is how the other half lives! Whoo-ee! Personally, I think you could buy a heck of a stick house, on a heck of a lot with a beautiful view of mountains, rivers or whatever, for a lot less money! But, this IS California! After taking the tour of this beautiful, beautiful place, we decided it was just a bit too much for us in all kinds of ways! But it sure was fun to see how the other half lives, on an RV scale......


  1. Yowza! There are a couple of parks like this in Gulf Shores, one of them across the street from the ocean. I think we'll stick to fairgrounds, Elk and Moose, maybe the occasional RV park and hang on to our money. Interesting blog though. I'm enjoying your travels, glad you're having so much fun.

  2. Yeah, I tried to get into that park a few years ago and couldn't get by the guard.

    Gee, who knows, maybe I'd a bought one of them $1,000,000 homes!

  3. OUchie.... I think we will stick with your first scenario... we enjoy the nature and woods and peaceful settings in the national forest, state and BLM land... LOL

    To each their own, I guess?

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard