Renting a Long Term or Seasonal RV Site

My friend, Christy, recently committed to a long-term RV spot on Logan Martin Lake in Alabama.  Today, she is sharing her experience from RV dream to reality!  She shares five considerations before you commit to the spot you've been dreaming of!

I grew up only 20 minutes away from one of the most beautiful and largest lakes in my home state of Arkansas. Lake DeGray was my childhood playground. I have spent literally hundreds of days there on the water and camping next to its shores. As an adult, especially after moving back down south after a ten-year stint in Washington DC, I knew getting a boat and a place on the lake were high priorities on my wish list. Having a camper on the lake seemed like a great way for me to have a kind of “lake house” for weekend getaways.

There are many different types of long-term RV spots to consider: monthly, seasonal (like fall, summer, etc...) or annual. There are also different types of RV parks to consider. I kept my boat at a marina all of last year that also has a camping area. By proxy, I became familiar with the layout of the property and the people who frequent the marina. I especially like the owner and his family and inquired about renting a spot for a camper there. They have an area for mobile homes as well, but those are much more difficult to acquire. He essentially put me on a waiting list for both types of spots and agreed to call me when something became available.

In the meantime, I checked out other RV parks. None could compete with the place that already felt very much like home! In other RV parks, I felt cramped and like I was right on top of my neighbors with very little green space. The ability for me to easily access my boat and add additions like a large deck and a boat dock was also extremely important to me. So I waited…

Earlier this spring, the owner of the marina where I keep my boat called me and said he had several RV spots available that I could choose between. One of those spots was actually in the mobile home section of the property. That’s a bit unusual in that rather than a camper being parallel to the water it would essentially be backed in and perpendicular to it. But it also meant a much larger green space and room for a bigger deck and boat dock.

I fell in love with my space immediately. It was more expensive and required an annual lease because of its prime location on the water. But it literally could not have been more perfect for me! I committed to the spot for the entire year that very day and I have not regretted it for a single moment since. There were less expensive options and some of them were great spots with great qualities. But my spot is perfect!

I can narrow down my most important considerations to five things:

1. Location, location, location!! My spot is not only near my boat but it’s also near my favorite barbecue place! Having an annual spot means I don’t necessarily cook like a camper. My friends and I prefer to go to dinner and bring meals back to eat on the deck. Being close to stores and restaurants was an incredibly important consideration for me.

2. Amenities! My spot comes with sewer and water included and I pay the local power company for my electric use. The other spots I was considering already had a boat dock but because everything else was perfect I was willing to spend the extra money to add my own boat dock later in order to get in the spot I liked best. I also like to have company so ample parking was also a big consideration for me, as well. The spot I chose could easily accommodate my guests.

3. The view! I absolutely love the view from my deck and we spend many hours there enjoying sunsets in the cool evening breeze off the water. I could literally live in a tent if it came with my view!

4. Great neighbors! I did my research on the folks I would be joining in my new “neighborhood.” To my immediate right is a full-timer who loves having company and is so kind to share his meals, tools, and boat dock at any given time! On the other side is another great guy who’s only there maybe one weekend a month and an occasional weekday depending on his travel schedule. He uses his lake spot and camper as an occasional stopover in the midpoint for his sales territory. Both Tony and Jordan have been such great neighbors and I enjoy every opportunity to visit with them!

5. Total cost! Buying a camper and putting it on a seasonal spot means I have a place to go anytime I want to get away. In 45 minutes I can literally be at my weekend or overnight getaway. The cost of the camper plus the cost of the leased spot is exponentially less expensive than even the very cheapest lake house. By leasing my spot, I’m also not responsible for any of the chores like mowing or property upkeep such as shore management or trimming trees. The gift of time can be an expensive one and these factors played heavily into my decision! More play, less work!

If you enjoy knowing your neighbors and being in familiar surroundings, I highly recommend leasing a long-term RV spot! When you are choosing your spot to lease, make sure that it is somewhere you want to be all the time, because hopefully, you will be. Make a priority list and a list of “must haves” and make sure your spot has them. This is a commitment and one you want to make sure works for you. Once you find your spot, your happy place won’t be far behind! Happy Camping!

If you want to know more about Taking the RV Plunge, read Christy's earlier post about her camper purchase.  Christy is a boating, camping and taco enthusiast.  She is living the lake life this summer with her dog Bear Rogers and lots of friends!