Park Model Homes: The Perfect Solution for Your Dream Vacation

Are you tired of the same old vacation homes, RVs, and Airbnb options? If so, it's time to discover the rising trend of park model homes. These tiny homes are taking the world by storm,...

Are you tired of the same old vacation homes, RVs, and Airbnb options? If so, it's time to discover the rising trend of park model homes. These tiny homes are taking the world by storm, offering flexibility, affordability, and a turn-key solution for your short-term housing needs.

Luxury Park Model interior living room

What Is a Park Model Home?

A park model home is a tiny home built on a chassis and wheels, following the ANSI A119.5 RV code. These homes are designed to be parked in long-term or permanent locations, typically at RV or Mobile Home Parks. While they are commonly used as temporary housing and seasonal vacation homes, more and more people are considering park model homes as a long-term housing solution. These homes provide the camping vibes with the modern conveniences of a traditional house. However, it's important to note that full-time living in a park model home is not permitted in most cases.

To qualify as a park model home, it must meet specific criteria:

  • Have 399 or fewer square feet of living space (499 square feet in Florida)
  • Built to the ANSI A119.5 RV code
  • Have registration, tags, and insurance, similar to any other RV

park model homes

What Is the Difference Between a Modular Home and a Park Model?

While modular homes and park model homes may appear similar, there are distinct differences between the two. A modular home is a prefabricated home that is delivered to your site in sections and assembled with a crane. On the other hand, a park model home is built on a trailer and can be delivered and moved without the need for a crane. Modular homes are built to the HUD construction code and can be used as permanent dwellings, while park model homes are classified as recreational vehicles and are not designed for full-time residency.

What Is the Difference Between a Park Model and an RV?

Park model homes and RVs are built to the same standards, known as the ANSI A119.5 Code for recreational park trailers. Both require registration, tags, and insurance. The primary difference lies in their usage. RVs are designed to be mobile and moved regularly, while park model homes are intended for longer-term stays in campgrounds or vacation locations.

Interior park model cabin home

What Is the Average Size of a Park Model?

On average, a park model home is approximately 12 ft wide and 33 ft long, with under 400 square feet of living space (excluding lofts and porches). The size of a park model home is only limited by road width restrictions during transportation. However, what makes park models unique is the ability to add a deck or porch after parking, expanding your living space into the great outdoors.

Are Park Model Homes HUD Approved?

Park model homes are designed and manufactured to meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 standards for Park Model Recreational Vehicles (PMRV). As a result, they are excluded from the HUD's definition of manufactured homes. However, there is a special version of a park model home approved for the state of Florida, often referred to as a HUD Park Model Home. These homes are built to Housing and Urban Development standards but are still considered recreational vehicles.

Can Park Model Homes Be Moved?

Due to their built-in wheels and chassis, park model homes are relatively easy to move. To relocate a park model home, simply remove the skirting, disconnect utilities, and hook it up to a transport vehicle. However, professional assistance is highly recommended, as transporting a park model home requires permits and oversized load escorts.

Can You Live Full-Time in a Park Model?

Park model homes are primarily designed for temporary housing solutions, such as vacation homes, hunting lodges, or camping cabins. While some local and state governments may not have specific regulations for park model homes, parking them in established campgrounds or mobile home parks is usually a safe option. Always check with your local township for specific regulations in your area.

Park Model cabin loft

Park Model Home: Site Preparation, Utilities, Delivery, and Setup

Setting up a park model home is a simple process that requires a level stone or concrete pad, along with access to basic utilities. All utilities, including sewer, water, and electricity, are connected just like an RV hookup. However, it's essential to confirm with your local zoning office that an RVIA Certified Park Model Home is approved for your desired location before making a purchase.

Site Preparation

Site preparation for a park model home is straightforward since it is built on a trailer with wheels. A level stone or concrete pad is all that's needed. Once delivered, the home must be stabilized using concrete blocks or RV jacks if you don't plan to move it in the near future. It's also important to secure the park model to the ground using hurricane ties or similar fasteners, depending on local regulations.

Utilities

Installing the necessary infrastructure for your park model home involves standard RV hookups. This includes a 100-amp electric connection, a garden hose connection, and a 3" sewer discharge pipe hookup. Getting these utilities installed and ready is the most challenging part, but once completed, you're ready to enjoy your new home.

Delivery

Delivery of a park model home is relatively simple since it is built on a trailer. However, it's important to confirm that the manufacturer handles delivery details and costs beforehand. Keep in mind that park model homes are considered oversized loads and require permits and escorts for transportation.

park model cabin exterior with porch

Final Setup and Making Your Park Model a Home

Once your park model is delivered and connected to utilities, it's time to transform it into a cozy oasis. Consider adding skirting to cover the wheels and axles underneath your home. Skirting options range from vinyl siding to stone veneer panels or log siding. Additionally, you can enhance your living space by adding a deck or porch, depending on your location and personal preferences.

What Is It Like to Live in a Park Model?

Living in a park model home is similar to living in any other house or tiny home. These homes offer all the amenities of a regular home, including a full kitchen and bathroom. Despite their limited size of under 400 sq.ft., park models are designed to optimize space, creating a cozy and comfortable living experience. Some park models even feature loft areas, providing extra storage or additional sleeping space. To enhance your living experience, consider adding a porch or deck to enjoy outdoor living.

Small park model cabin interior

Popular Uses for Park Model Homes

Park model homes offer a versatile range of applications beyond traditional housing. Here are some popular uses for park model homes:

Campgrounds

Campgrounds are starting to embrace the value of park model homes, attracting a diverse range of campers, including the glamping crowd. Whether you need one or several park models, these homes provide an excellent option for campgrounds of all sizes.

Vacation Getaway Cabins

If you have the perfect property by the mountains or lake but don't want to invest in a traditional home or cabin, a park model home is an ideal solution. With a simple level pad and access to utilities, you can have your dream vacation home without breaking the bank.

Airbnb Rentals

Investing in a park model home and offering it as a vacation rental on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO can be a profitable venture. Park model homes provide a unique and attractive option for vacationers, making them a sought-after choice.

Temporary Housing

In today's market, finding temporary housing can be challenging due to housing backlogs. Park model homes offer a simple, cost-effective, and turn-key solution for temporary living while you search for a more permanent housing option.

Accessory Dwelling Unit

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a secondary home or apartment that shares a lot with a primary residence. Park model homes can serve as ADUs, providing additional living space for friends or family while maintaining privacy. Renting out an ADU can also generate extra income.

Tiny Homes Vs. Park Model Homes

While park model homes are a subset of the tiny home market, they have distinct characteristics. Tiny homes encompass a wide range of small homes and houses built on wheels. Park model homes, in contrast, are specifically built to meet ANSI standards and are classified as recreational vehicles. It's important to note that not all tiny homes qualify as park model homes due to specific regulations and building codes.

park model vacation home

Park Model Home Prices

Park model home prices vary depending on factors such as style, features, and transportation distance. While some homes are priced in the $20,000-$30,000 range, high-quality new park models typically range from $40,000-$100,000, with luxury models going higher. It's essential to consider delivery costs, as they can significantly impact the total price.

Park Model Home Financing

Yes, you can finance a park model home, but traditional home financing options do not apply. Since park model homes are classified as recreational vehicles, RV loans and insurance are common financing options. Personal loans or chattel mortgages can also be good alternatives. Chattel mortgages specifically pertain to movable properties, such as vehicles or park model homes, with higher interest rates and shorter terms.

park model homes 2

Are Park Model Homes a Good Investment?

Park model homes offer an excellent short-term investment opportunity. With a low initial investment and high potential return on investment, park model homes are an attractive addition to your investment portfolio. Even with an 80% occupancy rate, the investment can pay for itself within just two and a half years. Park model homes hold their value well, especially as the demand for high-quality homes increases.

Park Model Homes For Sale

At Zook Cabins, we offer a wide range of park model homes for sale across the lower 48 states. Whether you're looking for a simple cabin or a luxurious home, we have a park model to suit your needs and budget. Explore our selection of 1 or 2-bedroom options with or without lofts, along with beautiful porches. Find your perfect park model home today!

In Conclusion

Still have questions about park model homes? Ready to invest in one yourself? Whether you're seeking a hunting cabin, a campground home, or a luxurious vacation retreat, park model homes offer endless possibilities. Discover the joy of outdoor living and a slower pace of life. Contact us for more information or get an instant price quote for a park model home delivered to your location. Your dream getaway awaits!

Luxury park model home with modern kitchen

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