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 > Your search for posts made by 'soren' found 4 matches.

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RE: Deeded RV lots

We bought a deeded lot, in Florida, two years ago. It has been a true love and hate situation. Oddly enough, we spent time in that park, everything from a month to an entire season, for the previous five years. We had heard than, in the past, the place was fairly tumultuous,to the point of fist fights breaking out at board meetings.We learned the hard way that the reason for a decade of calm was the board president, a benign dictator who understood that there are many, mostly older male, lot owners who are power hungry, obsessed with taking control of every situation, and will cause chaos any time they are given any little position of responsibility. Last year, a cabal of these power hungry chucklenuts took control. They did so using some extremely underhanded techniques that mirror our current political situation, in the states. Lots of lying, false claims about past performance, the use of "us VS them" clique building, etc, Since all the new members wanted to be in charge, they divided the various responsibilities of running a large park, with an HOA owned, for profit campground attached, into sub-kingdoms, and gave each new member his own territory to rule. It's been a never-ending mess. Their cult leader (the one that guided this current "leadership" into the mess they ended up in) eventually felt that his continued presence in the park was not comfortable, or safe, so he and his wife sold out. The clowns with their mini-kingdoms don't really like to put the actual work in, so they are paying various entities to do their duties. They rang up $80K in legal bills, over their battles, divided the owners of the park, and destroyed any sense of common community. Now several of them announced that they no longer want their positions. It seems that wanting to be in charge, and strutting around like you are somebody, is a little different that being a hard working, mature adult, who has been given a lot of responsibility and a lot of unpaid work to do. Especially if you are doing it to "serve" a membership that you cleaved in half, with your behavior, and a huge portion of those members know what your game is. At this point, we are not sure if we will be heading south this winter, and will watch how Florida fares with it's latest, "Corona, what Corona?" handling of the virus, by the governor, before we make our final decision. We will, like most owners in our park, who haven't "drunk the kool-aid" keep a watchful eye on the HOA board. If the place returns to some sense of rationality, we would be happy to stay. If it continues on the path of 24/7 stupidity,division, and destruction, we will sell. At this point, the ONLY way we would buy another lot in an HOA controlled campground, is if the park members support an HOA that has handed over the majority of control and daily management to a management association, and has a long history of peacefully respecting the performance of the management company. And yes, at least in FL. these places do exist. Another poster here mentioned some lots that are actually sold by, and managed by ownership of a for profit park. Essentially the campground takes a portion of their property and sells individual sites off. We know several folks that bought into a beautiful newer resort that fits this model. 5-6 years after they did it, the whole resort is tanking, street lights are dead, since the owner can't afford to fix them, the cable TV is dead, and so on. At this point, IMHO, I would not take the deed to any one of our friend's resort lots for free. Those properties went from being $40-60K investments to a liability that will be tough to sell, if they sell. My guess is that the bank will foreclose on the place, and the lot owners will spend many years in limbo, until that place is stable again.
soren 10/05/20 05:25am General RVing Issues
RE: Why are people not opening new campgrounds/RV parks?

At the start of the great recession, a subcontractor of mine decided to end his multi-year search for a small, existing campground to purchase. He had 1.4 million to invest, and wanted to be in the eastern third of the US. Over a couple of years, he spent over $10k in plane tickets and accountant reviews of the books of several potential purchases. His overall take on the situation was that most existing campgrounds he looked at were built 30-50 years ago and were built on land that was either free (the family farm) or dirt cheap. They were built before zoning and intense code enforcement, and extremely expensive utility and infrastructure requirements. He hit two deal breakers in most cases. First, the land that was almost free, back in the day, was now correctly priced by the seller at it's current market rate, which was priced based on it's highest and best use. This was often a figure that a developer would eventually pay, then level the CG and build a housing development or condo project. This often meant that there was no chance of generating enough profit to justify the purchase, much less guarantee a reasonable ROI and a fair paycheck for the new owner's efforts. The other issue was that a lot of older to elderly CG owners were spending their season working long hours and really not making anything at all. They were in the farmer mentality of, "next year will be better" and "this is what I've always done, so I keep doing it, even if it doesn't make sense on paper". Their kids didn't want to take the place over, and bust their butts for less than minimum wage, and nobody was willing to buy the place since their books looked horrible. The DW and I hold a small stake in a private CG in Florida. It is about 70 sites, fifty years old, and really a nice property. It is extremely well run, and fully booked in the peak season. The profitability of the enterprise will always be in question, as the operation is oddly co-mingled with a larger resort that we have a matching interest in. Bottom line is, the place charges market rates, and the occupancy rate is as high as possible given the climate and location. On paper the management can show a modest profit, while discounting the benefits of being attached to the larger operation, and using their utilities and amenities. Being very familiar with the cost of the daily operations, I seriously doubt that it would be attractive to any serious investor, if it was listed for sale.
soren 06/19/20 06:39am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Confused and Frustrated

Class C and toad vs TT and toad vehicle. I’ve had them all. A toad is way easier to hook up than a TT to a truck. You drive your toad up to the RV. No precise backing, sliding arms. Easy by yourself. My main complaint with a truck and TT is that when you unhook, you are stuck with a big ole gas guzzling truck that’s not much fun to park. Two drive trains? Tow a Honda. No pain. Now your driving around a nimble gas sipping small SUV. Of course it depends on where you go and your lifestyle and how much you drive around. We drive around almost daily. We like visiting museums, restaurants, church festivals etc. I've done it every way possible, pop-up, travel trailer, class C, class A gas and diesel. I agree with your take on this question. I have a class A pulling a Honda at the moment, and can't see going back to a trailer of any kind. We are constantly on the go, once the motorhome is parked and set up. Nothing for us to travel a hundred miles, or more every day, while out exploring. The economy, nimbleness, and hassle free experience of zipping around in a compact SUV is IMHO, a whole lot better than trying to navigate a 20' long, one ton, or worse yet, dually pickup. When it comes to some places we hang out in,like Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans, the last thing you want to be stuck in is a giant truck, on the many streets where a land whale like that barely fits. Funny how often we end up camping with our many fifth wheel owning friends, and they all up with the same comment when it's time to do something fun, "do you mind if we ride along with you?"
soren 05/29/20 12:58pm Full-time RVing
RE: Make An Offer

CW will usually tell you the fees and add ons are mandatory. I even had one try to tell me that the "Documentation fee" was a state tax, and was mandatory as a state fee. It was Virginia, and I had a dealers license, I KNEW better. the $399, was the state mandated MAXIMUM they were allowed to charge. It goes straight in their pocket. Nothing is mandatory, it is all negotiable.It is more likely a documentation fee is a mandatory fee at the corporate level. The dealer is likely to prefer losing a sale over the fee than have the dealer employees know that the fee can be waived. Commissioned sales is a strange profession. The salespeople have an obligation to the dealer to make the maximum profit, but they only get paid if they close a sale, so they also need to do whatever it takes to please the buyer. Fees might not be a legal obligation that cannot be waived, but the owner of the dealership probably won't allow it because collecting that fee over hundreds or thousands of sales is much more profitable than any single sale. You are correct. I've done business with dealers in two regions (FL&DC) where most dealers have outrageous dealer fees. I just negotiated the price I wanted, looked at the contract and asked what the $500, or $700 charge was for? They explained that it was a mandatory dealer fee and not negotiable. I then explained that I don't pay such nonsense, but they can remove it off the sale price, and we are good. After a lot of pearl clutching, sniveling and secret talks with the sales manager, the dealer fee amount was backed out of the purchase price, and everybody was happy.
soren 12/24/19 04:22pm Camping World RV Sales
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