Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Friday, 04.18.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5  6
 7  8  9  10  11  12  13
 14  15  16  17  18  19  20
 21  22  23  24  25  26  27
 28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Jan 19,2007
The rising cost of real estate hasn't kept snowbirds from making their annual trek south
by Bend Weekly News Sources

More than 50,000 snowbirds will spend the winter of 2007 in park model vacation cottages, with most residing in Florida, Texas and Arizona.

When Dean Sarbaugh and his wife, Tacy, got the idea of leaving their native Ohio and spending the winter in Florida, they bought a brand new fifth wheel travel trailer.

But after trying out several RV parks in central Florida, they wound up buying a 400-square foot recreational park trailer or "park model," which they've placed on a leased site at the Travelers Rest Resort in Dade City.

"Now I have a brand new fifth wheel for sale," Sarbaugh said with a smile. "We had no idea we were going to do this. But the idea of purchasing a roomy, cottage-like park model, fully equipped with full size kitchen appliances, made a lot of sense."

So did the price. Park models average just under $40,000 and they can be placed on leased campsites for about $1,500 to $7,000 per year, depending on location. Some park model owners also purchase their campsites, which ensures that they always have a place to park their unit.

The Sarbaugh's Breckenridge park model cost only half as much as the fifth wheel they had purchased, and it provides more space and more amenities, including bay windows, built in bookshelves and a fireplace. And since the unit is attached to utilities, the Sarbaughs don't have holding tanks to worry about, either. "We think this is a better option for us," Sarbaugh said. "We can come down here every year and I won't have to tow it back and forth."

Snowbirds in other states have gotten the same idea, including Roger and Chris Sefton of northern Wisconsin, who traded in their fifth wheel for a Forest River park model, which they've placed at the Llano Grande Lake Park & Country Club in Mercedes, Texas.

"For the two of us it's perfect," said Roger Sefton, 64, a retired customer service rep for a copy machine sales and service firm. "It's nice being in a place with room."

Other recent park model converts include Tom and Judy Martin of Washington, who spent four years full-timing in their fifth wheel before settling down into a Cavco park model at Rincon Country West, an upscale resort in Tucson, Ariz.

"We had the park model built specially to meet our needs," explained Judy, who owned two travel agencies in Spokane. "We entertain a lot so we wanted a dining area for a bigger table and a bigger kitchen. We had an Arizona room built to our specific needs. My husband loves his computers and I sew. He has one end of the Arizona room and I have the other end. In the middle is the family room. We don't have a lot of room but it works for us."

Adds Judy, "I love the coziness of it. When friends come down from the North to visit, they say it looks like a little playhouse. I love the size; it's not much to clean. That's important to women, especially when you're retired."

Many part-time park model dwellers, meanwhile, are hanging on to their towable and motorized RVs and plan to continue their travels this summer, including Don and Dee Dammann, who purchased a park model at the upscale Sun 'n Fun Resort in Sarasota, Fla., four years ago. The Dammanns plan to stay in their park model until summer, when they'll head north to the Carolinas and beyond in their Class C motorhome.

Drawbacks? "There aren't for us. It's wonderful for our age," Dee Dammann said, adding that she and her husband hope to eventually purchase a second park model in the Smoky Mountains for use during the summer months.
2919 times read

Related news
Bend Council passes mobile home relocation ordinance by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on May 21,2006

Compensation complaint. How about compassion? by Bob posted on Jun 29,2006


Compensation for Trailer Park Residents? by Chris Basserman, Bend, Oregon posted on Jun 18,2006

Prof. solves mystery of tomb in park by UPI posted on May 14,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 77 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?