Mobile Home Park Investing

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David Alfaro
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Santa Maria, CA
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Motor/trailer home park new development

David Alfaro
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Santa Maria, CA
Posted Jun 13 2022, 11:15

Hello everyone,

has anyone developed a new mobile home park from raw land? Also, do 5th wheels qualify as a motorhome? What does the land have to be zoned for this project?

Thinking about buying land and installing rvs to rent. Just not sure how to go about this and what questions I should be asking.

San Luis Obispo, California

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Campbell Key
  • Investor
  • Austin, TX
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Campbell Key
  • Investor
  • Austin, TX
Replied Jun 13 2022, 16:23

@David Alfaro I've worked on a few RV parks for clients as a civil engineer. The biggest factor is the jurisdiction(s) you submit to - they're all a little bit different and have specific ways of handling RVs and/or Manufactured Homes, so its hard to fully answer your question without knowing a specific area. In general, you will need to either be in a specific multi-family zoning where manufactured homes and/or RV's are allowed per the code, or in no zoning at all. I've seen RV parks are more commonly permitted outside of city limits where you're only subject to a county, since Counties dont regulate zoning (they're not supposed to, anyway). Often all you need in those cases is a plan set showing the site plan, a utility plan, a drainage/grading plan and details/notes etc. 

From the ones I've done, there's no distinction between a fifth wheel and an RV, but there is often a distinction between RV's/fifth wheels and Manufactured Homes. Basically if you take the wheels off and its going to be a more permanent structure there are implications to that. Some small cities near Austin where I live require "building plans" to be submitted for Manufactured Homes (basically just the spec sheets for the units) after the site plan is approved, whereas all you need for an RV park is the pad sites with utility hook-ups.