ARE STAIRS BECOMING DIFFICULT…….

Ability Access is a leading provider of access & mobility equipment. For over 30 years, members of our staff have been installing lifts and ramps throughout parts of the country. Ability Access is dedicated to providing simple, trouble free, space efficient access to your home or RV at the best possible price.

As many people are looking to upgrade or downsize to a mobile/modular home or RV, they commonly overlook the fact that stairs can become an obstacle they have to consider. The first thing most people think of, is to build a ramp. In most states and communities, building codes require a 1 in 12 slope. This means for every inch of rise you would need a foot of ramp. ie: (32” high porch would require a 32 foot ramp.) In most instances this is very inconvenient or there is simply not enough space to build to code. For this reason a porch lift is a far more practical space saving solution.

Porch Lifts are designed to lift a person standing or in a mobility device from ground level to porch level. They are designed specifically for any mobile, modular or standard home. They work off of a standard electrical outlet and are designed to give many years of trouble free service. They generally take up a 4’ x 4’ area, although smaller lifts are available for specific situations. They are designed for outdoor use and have been installed in most areas of north America. The cost of installing a porch lift is about the same as installing a modular ramp system to code. For those that have this knowledge a porch lift is almost always the smartest choice.


Modular Ramps
are made from lightweight, rust-resistant aluminum. Modular ramps can be used for residential and commercial applications where space is not an issue. Many states require drawings and a permit for ramp installations.

RV Access Products are designed for three different groups of people.
1. Those who can stand, but have trouble climbing stairs
2. Those that can’t stand
3. Those who are confined to a wheelchair
Ability Access offers many products designed to make most RV’s accessible with little or no modifications.

If access into your home or RV is difficult, let Ability Access help you.

Contact
Toll Free (888) 538-9514
Fax (209) 944-7426
Email: abilityaccessllc@yahoo.com
Web site: http://www.abilityaccess.net
Web site: http://www.porchlifts.org

HOW TO MAKE EVERY DAY A HOLIDAY WHEN YOU OWN AN RV PARK

Many people live out their lives without really enjoying their work. Then they retire and try to enjoy their final years, but really spend all their time fretting if their retirement savings will hold out. What if you could combine investing your savings with having the time of your life? Well, you can. And here’s how to do it.

Analyze how much working capital you have.
The first step to taking control of your life is to know what you have to work with. Take an inventory of all your assets. If you buy an RV park, you will live inside the park, so you can include the equity in your home in your calculations. Of this amount, you need to hold back a healthy portion for security – never put all your money into a down payment, as you need elbow room for emergencies and just peace of mind. If you have $100,000 in liquid assets, then you will only want to use maybe $50,000 of that as a down payment.

Learn everything you can about the RV park business.
Take a course through a website such as ours. Read everything available on the internet, including the many articles published on www.arvc.org — the national association or RV parks. Drive through the RV parks in your area and get a good feel as to if that type of thing interests you or not.

Start hitting RV park deals for sale and get familiar with the numbers.
You can find hundreds of RV parks for sale on such sites as www. Loopnet.com and www.RVParkStore.com. Take advantage of that, and become an expert on what the market rates are for return levels and price per lot. You will immediately note, through occupancy, what the “hot” and “cold” areas are for RV parks. You will also learn the difference from a “seasonal” RV park and a year-round RV park, and what a “destination” RV park is. Once you can guess at the value of a park through nothing more than its location and amenities, then you are ready to start making offers.

Make offers on many parks.
Buying an RV park is a volume business – you will have to make many offers. The point is to get a great buy, and you can’t buy low unless you ask for a low price. Don’t be afraid to have multiple deals going at one time. That’s what the experts do. When you find a deal that you feel very excited about and want to go forward, then you are ready to go to the contract phase.

Tie up the park under contract.
Don’t freak out when you put an RV park under contract. If you have used the right contract form (such as the one provided by www.RVParkStore.com), you will have the ability to cancel the deal for any reason during due diligence. You may put many parks under contract and drop them over time. This is perfectly natural. But you have to get off dead center and start tying them up to learn how to do it.

Perform great due diligence.
Great deals are made at the front end – if you buy it right, it will always be a winner. So make sure to analyze every inch of the deal. You will want to re-build your proposed income and expense statement yourself, without relying on the seller’s version. You can’t be too careful – there are plenty of unscrupulous sellers out there.

Get financing.
Obtaining financing can b e a challenge in today’s world. That’s why RV parks are so good – many sellers will offer to carry the financing for you, so you don’t have to make application to a bank. Just make sure that the length of the note is long – 7 to 10 years – so that you have time to find a real bank down the road.

Close on the deal and change your life.
Owning an RV park can be a great way to change your life for the better. Many people love to be their own boss, set their own schedule, and have many different things to do all day. And, as an RV park owner, you will find that you wear many hats. One of the key things that people enjoy about owning RV parks is getting to meet so many different people. If you like people, you’ll love RV parks. Every day are new guests, as well as fun current residents to talk to. And the more you like them, the more they feel that “love” and will want to return.

Conclusion.
Sure, it’s hard to break out of your comfort zone. But would you rather stay miserable? At least look into owning an RV park as a way to get you the quality of life you want. And when you buy one, be sure to invite all your miserable friends to come visit you – if they can ever get away from their boring 9 to 5 jobs!

By Frank Rolfe

Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors. www.RVParkUniversity.com.

WHY RV PARKS HAVE A HIGHER RETURN THAN JUST MONEY

When it comes to investing, most people look only at the numbers. But RV park owners enjoy dividends that stretch beyond simple economics. They can gain personal rewards that are equally as impressive as their financial benefits. So why do RV parks have a higher return than just money?

THE CHANCE TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS

When you own an RV park, you own an interesting business that you fully control. You hold the title, and you call the shots. On top of that, you own a virtual city of customers, and you can delegate as you see fit, and test your theories with your own pocketbook. Since you own the business, you also receive all the rewards. You answer to no one and you make all the decisions entirely on your own.

THE CHANCE TO BE OUTDOORS

One huge benefit of owning an RV park is that you have the privilege to be outdoors – a lot. An RV park is an outdoor enterprise, and that communing with nature is a huge attraction for many buyers. If you have been stuck in an office your entire adult life, there is huge satisfaction in getting out of that rut and spending time in the sunshine and fresh air.

THE ABILITY TO ENJOY YOUR TIME AND NOT JUST WATCH THE CLOCK

Studies have shown that around 70% of Americans hate their jobs. They dread going in every morning, and they watch the clock the whole day, waiting for it to end. This situation has led to an enormous amount of stress in the workplace. An RV park can be the solution for many people, as it replaces that dreadful day job with something to look forward to – the ability to actually enjoy you time and your life.

A WIN/WIN WITH ZERO STRESS

One reason that owning an RV park can be such a pleasurable experience is because it’s a win/win business. In a correctly run RV park, both the owners and the customers are 100% happy. This is not a business founded on conflict. If you can make sure that all utilities and amenities are working fine and that all customers have a great experience on property, your success will be assured. Many jobs include a regular dose of stress, conflict, bitterness and bullying. This is not one of those jobs.

BUT GREAT FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE, TOO

If owning an RV park can be a pleasurable experience, then what about the economics? Can you have fun and make money, too? The answer is yes, if you buy the right park and buy it at the right price. The typical cap rate on an RV park is around 10% and, given current loan rates, provides for at least a 3 point spread between the cap rate and loan finance rate which, in turn, gives you a roughly 20% cash-on-cash return. But that’s only part of the story. The right RV park has significant upside to be tapped, typically in occupancy. If you improve the marketing and the customer experience – resulting in positive reviews, good word-of-mouth and high customer retention rates, you can typically beat the old owner’s revenue budget, and virtually 100% of that revenue falls to the bottom line.

CONCLUSION

RV parks offer high financial returns, but they also offer high levels of individual satisfaction, They are a unique investment class, as they have the ability to meet the investor’s needs in more categories than just yield.

Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors. www.RVParkUniversity.com.

IS BUYING A RV PARK WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

Do you enjoy people? Do you like being outdoors? Do you like being your own boss? If the answer is “no”, then buying an RV Park is the worst thing that you could do. If you answered “yes”, then read on and learn more about owning an RV Park.

THE FINANCIAL SIDE OF OWNING AN RV PARK.

RV parks are a very high-yielding investment, with returns from 10% to 20%+ on your money. RV parks are among the highest-yielding of all real estate asset classes. So if your goal is to maximize the return on your money, RV parks are not a bad starting spot.

Another strength to RV parks is the fact that most are owned by moms pops – smaller owners who have no debt and, therefore, the ability to carry the financing on the transaction. When the seller carries the financing at a low interest rate, it compounds the yield you can make on your money thanks to leverage. Leverage, as long as the interest rate on the loan is lower than the cap rate of the deal, will give you an even higher return. So, even if RV parks sold at the same return level as other forms of real estate, they would still kill the competition due to seller carry.

It’s also important to note that most seller carry is does not require any kind of credit review of loan committee. If you have bad credit, you can still pull off a seller carry loan. Most moms and pops do no type of loan scrutiny, and don’t even require some third party reports like an appraisal. Additionally, most seller carry is “non-recourse” in nature; even if you default on the loan and property is sold at a loss, they note holder cannot come after you for the deficiency.

THE NON-FINANCIAL SIDE OF RV PARK OWNERSHIP

To many owners, running an RV park is so much fun that they’d do it for free. While we don’t advocate that you go that far, the types of duties that owning an RV park include are very appealing.

Where else – outside of an RV park – can you devote your day to fun? And of all the duties that you inherit, they break down into three main categories:

* Giving people a wonderful experience away from home. Your customers are looking to you for guidance and support. They want to hear about things to do, things you recommend. They are your guests, and they need you to help show them where to go and how to hook up their utilities. Many just want a pleasant “how are you doing today” to re-assure them that they made the right choice in pulling into your RV park

* Fixing things on a continual basis in the out-of-doors. If you are a hands-on RV park owner, you will be forever tinkering with everything from the swimming pool to the landscape. You will be a jack-of-all-trades who needs to enjoy working with your hands outside. Even if you have a maintenance man and just ride around on a golf cart, you are always going to be multi-tasking.

* Being the boss. Every problem is going to stop with you. You have to be the decision maker. You’re the one who makes the call on if you can give a discount to the 10 snow-birds passing through as a group. You have to decide on the advertising. Everything is you, you, you. In being the boss, you also have complete freedom over your time. You set the schedule and the hours of operation.

One of the biggest non-financial benefits of owning an RV park is the quality of life upgrade. Many people love the lifestyle that owning an RV park affords. The freedom and the fun. Many RV park owners only have one regret – that they did not buy an RV park sooner.

SOME ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS.

Owning an RV park can be a source of creating an estate for your heirs to enjoy. While many people fritter their savings away when they retire, an RV park owner can spend every last dime the park generates, and it just creates a new stream of cash flow the next day. So you are actually building an asset that may not only be your source of enjoyment, but provide for your heirs as well.

A successful RV park can be worth $1 million or more. It can be a multi-generational gift to many people. A way for you to create an important estate on only your down-payment and sweat equity.

CONCLUSION

Owning an RV park is well worth the investment. It can provide financial and quality of life benefits that far outreach any stock, bond, CD or other form of real estate.

Isn’t it worth the time to research the RV park industry more? But don’t call me – I’ll be out on my golf cart.

Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors. www.RVParkUniversity.com

HOW TO BUY A RV PARK

With 10,000 baby boomers retiring per day, there has never been more demand for RVs and the retirement lifestyle of traveling America in an RV. And with more RVs on the road (currently over 8 million of them), they all have to have a place to park for the night – or head for a destination. Many Americans are taking advantage of this demand by buying RV parks as an investment. But how do you successfully buy an RV park?

NORMALIZE THE NUMBERS

When looking at the financial statements for an RV park, it is important to “normalize” these numbers through averaging. Don’t buy an RV park based on one year’s revenue. Numbers can be flawed due to unseasonably cold or warm weather, or even because of local construction projects and the price of gasoline. You need to see several years of statements to get a true handle on how much the RV park can be expected to produce in income.

LOOK AT CURRENT PERFORMANCE

At the same time, you have to focus on the current numbers on the RV park. Declining revenue over several years can suggest that there are bigger problems ahead, while growing income means just the opposite trend. The most accurate reflection of reality for the RV park is what you have going on right now. So when you average the numbers, you are hoping that they support the current revenue, and that the current revenue is up from the prior year. Any other setting means that you need additional caution and probably a lower price for the property.

EVALUATE BASED ON A RATE OF RETURN

Even though RV parks can appear fun and attractive, it’s still all about the money. You can’t overpay for an RV park and have a happy ending. Before you being looking at RV parks to buy, you need to determine what rate of return works for your goals. If you say to yourself “I need a 20% cash-on-cash return to feel good about this investment”, then you know that you need to buy a park at a 10% cap rate with 80% leverage in the form of a loan. Your focus should always be on the math. Where many buyers screw up is that they buy based on scenic beauty or pride of ownership, and lose sight of the big picture, which is all about the money.

FACTOR IN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

Remember that the total cost of a project is not only the initial price, but also the cost of the improvements. Some buyers forget this simple fact, and only calculate their rate of return on the original price of the RV park, not counting any improvements. We have seen cases in which the renovations to the RV park can cost as much as 50% of the total purchase price, which can reduce a perceived 10% cap rate down to 7% — which can make the entire RV park upside down on day one.

LEAVE ROOM FOR ERROR

Things happen. You need to always be ready for a rainy day. Don’t put too much down on any RV park deal – leave yourself some money in the bank. In addition, don’t cut your budget too tight. If the RV park can make $5,000 per month, don’t saddle it with a $4,999 per month payment. Remember the old saying “under-promise and over-deliver”, and put in a bunch of “padding” into every number you budget. That way, if your estimates were off – or the market dips temporarily — you’re still O.K.

PERFORM GREAT DUE DILIGENCE

Benjamin Franklin once said that “diligence is the mother of good luck” and that’s as true in RV parks as any other type of real estate. Don’t leave your investment to chance; increase your odds by performing good due diligence.

DON’T TAKE RISK WITHOUT SUFFICIENT REWARD

If a seller is wanting you to buy an RV park with poor financial information, or declining revenues, or it’s located in a sketchy area, or the survey shows it’s in a floodplain, then the price of the park just went down substantially. You have to be compensated for greater risk by higher return. Don’t let the seller try to convince you that the perceived problem is low-odds and not worth worrying about. Every risk is real and must be accompanied by a price concession. Another way to overcome troubled deals is by having the seller carry most – if not all – of the financing on the deal. That transfers the risk back on the seller, and insulates your potential loss if the deal goes bad. It’s been said that all bad deals can be fixed with zero-down seller carry, and that’s not far off.

CONCLUSION

RV parks can make excellent investments, but only if you use common sense and focus on the money. There are thousands of RV parks in the United States, so don’t stretch or rush to buy the first one you see. Mitigate risk and do great diligence – and stay completely focused on the rate of return – and you should be able to find the RV park of your dreams.

Frank Rolfe is a mobile home and RV park investor and owns over 100 parks with his partner Dave Reynolds. Frank also teaches about RV Park Investing through www.RVParkUniversity.com

How to Turn an RV Park into a Destination

Although RV users are not as susceptible to fuel prices as the average American, due to higher disposable income and more willingness to spend it on their RV trips, it still makes sense to make the guests that come into your RV park stay for more nights. Remember that one RV that stays for four days is the same cash flow as having four different RVs stay overnight. Indeed, one of the best ways to hedge your revenue risk is to have guests stay more nights before moving on. So how do you do it?

Continue reading

How To Earn Lifetime RV Park/Campground Customers

There are over 8,000,000 RV owners in the U.S. And they all have to stay somewhere. But that’s no excuse for not treating every single one as though they are the most important customer in the world. That kind of attitude will propel you to the top of the pile in RV park owners – and reward you with outstanding occupancy and cash flow.

So how do you earn lifetime RV park customers? Continue reading

Marketing your RV Park or Campground with Signage

Marketing an RV resort or campground is tricky.  Customers come from all over and for many reasons.  But one piece of marketing that is always important for RV parks is signage on well-traveled roads and highways.

The first step in constructing a successful signage campaign is evaluating what highways or roads are important to you – where does the traffic come from?  To help you in this matter, you can normally buy a “traffic count map” from your local state right-of-way office.  This map shows how many cars per day travel on the highways and major surface roads.  This will give you a good idea of the volume of traffic.  The next step is to find out more particulars on where your customers are coming from.  The best way to achieve this step is to tape a regional map to a piece of marker-board, and either hang it on the wall or place on an easel.  Every time a customer checks in, put a dot or pin on the map where they came from.  You will soon start to see patterns on where your customers really come from and where to emphasize your resources. Continue reading

RV Resort and Campground Managers, Employees, and Casual Labor

Once you find a potential manager for your RV Resort or Campground, the work is still not over.  Questions such as background checks, credit checks, how much to pay them, what their responsibilities will be, are they an employee or contractor and others still need to be answered.

Should you obtain a background or credit check?  The right answer to this question is probably yes.  Does everyone do it?  No. Continue reading

How To Find An RV Park For Sale

Many investors are considering buying RV parks as not only an investment, but as a lifestyle choice. With millions of Americans approaching retirement, a very fundamental concept is combining one’s retirement years with one’s investment objectives – and this often points to an RV park as the best of both worlds.

RV parks not only offer high investment returns, but a satisfying, enjoyable lifestyle. The opportunity to be your own boss, and enjoy a beautiful scenic area, work with happy customers, and spend a good deal of time outside, is an unbeatable opportunity for most people.

But how do you find an RV park for sale? Continue reading