Baby it’s cold outside! Snow, slush and shoveling. Ugh! If Old Man Winter is giving you a case of the blahs, it’s time to pack up the RV, kiss the grandbabies good-bye and head south for warmer climes. One of the true joys of RV living is the ability to pick up and leave when the weather goes sour or you crave a change of scenery. But much as RVers love their wanderlust ways, there’s something to be said for having a special place to call home.

A growing number of RVers have found a way to enjoy the best of both worlds, using their RV as an affordable, easy-care second home. They travel when the spirit moves them, parking their RV between trips in specially-designed RV communities. Particularly popular in Florida, Texas and the Southwest, these aren’t your usual RV parks. In these RV communities, everyone has their own little plot of land. Elaborate decks and patios complete with fancy grills and fire pits, storage sheds and even picket fences dot the landscaped lots.

In one Texas RV community, owners construct fanciful garage-sized mini-homes to augment RV living space when they’re “home.” In addition to a few extra guest beds, these permanent structures accommodate projects and hobbies and provide valuable permanent storage space. When RVers are in residence, neighbors gather for potlucks, pool parties, cards, movie nights and other activities at a community clubhouse. Monthly maintenance fees pay for upkeep of the grounds, roadways, communal facilities and utility installation. Unlike park model RVs that are permanently parked, RVers in these special communities travel regularly. They just like to return to a place they can call Home Sweet Home.

For those who have already discovered their personal Bali Hai, park model RVs provide many of the same advantages of sun drenched vacation homes but at affordable RV prices. Particularly popular in the West, park model RVs are constructed to be parked in one place; they are not built for regular road travel. Legally limited to 400 square feet, the size of park model RVs is often expanded by adding decks, patios, enclosed sun rooms, outdoor kitchens, gas fire pits, even waterfalls to create unique outdoor environments. Permanent add-ons can increase park model RV living space to 3,000 square feet or more.

Often built around a rustic lake cottage, log cabin chalet or other theme, park models are often attractively grouped and landscaped to ensure the individual privacy of each owner. At RV park model resorts, monthly fees are assessed to cover shared communal costs for maintenance and recreational activities. When RV owners arrive, they can just kick back and enjoy the sun!