NEWNAN, Ga., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you looking for a weekend retreat or vacation cottage for a fraction of the price of a site-built home or condo? (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060425/LATU070 ) The Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association can help. The association's website at www.rptia.com now lists recreational park trailer or "park model" dealers as well as private campgrounds and RV parks that rent park models or lease campsites to park model owners who want to use their unit as a weekend retreat or seasonal vacation cottage. "Our new search function is a work in progress, but it's an incredibly valuable tool because no other website offers this kind of search function for consumers who are looking for park model dealers or park model friendly campgrounds and RV parks," said Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA). "Our website identifies those parks that lease or sell sites for park model use. It also offers listings that specify which parks offer park model units for rent by the day, by the week or by the season for families who do not own an RV, but want to experience the RV lifestyle in a park model." Unlike mobile homes, which are a form of low-cost, permanent housing, park models are 400-square foot movable resort cottages that are designed exclusively for part-time recreational use. Typically upscale in appearance, they often include bay windows and lofts as well as walnut, oak or maple cabinetry. Technically classified as recreational vehicles, they can be left on a permanent campsite for an entire season or placed on private property and used as weekend or seasonal vacation homes, subject to local zoning requirements. Many consumers find the cost of park models appealing. While condos and site-built homes in resort areas typically cost $200,000 or $300,000 or more, park models generally cost less than $50,000, with the average price being in the $38,000 range. Most park models are placed on campsites, which can be leased for $1,500 to $5,000 per year, depending on location. However, some consumers also place their units on private property and use them as vacation homes, again, subject to local zoning requirements. "For many years, park models were the best kept secret in the RV business, but the secret is getting out," Garpow said. Demand is growing as increasing numbers of consumers learn that park models are the most affordable option in vacation homes with an average price of about $38,000. In 2005, in fact, national shipments of park models were up 8 percent over 2004 figures, setting an all time industry record, according to RPTIA statistics. Awareness is also growing as park model industry makes a more concerted effort to market its products. "Our industry didn't make it easy for consumers to learn about park models in years passed," Garpow said. "But the upgrades we've made to our website will allow us to market our products more efficiently by giving potential buyers the information they need." RPTIA represents 46 recreational park trailer manufacturers that have pledged to the association that they will adhere to the American National Standards Institute ANSI A119.5 standard, which mandates more than 500 separate safety requirements for recreational park trailers. RPTIA assists its members in complying with the ANSI standard by providing unannounced inspections of the units being produced at the members' manufacturing facilities by accredited third party engineering firms. Members of the association who are in compliance with the standards program have earned the right to proudly display RPTIA's gold, blue and green oval seal, which is typically placed adjacent to the primary entrance to the recreational park trailer. For more information on RPTIA, please contact William Garpow at (770) 251-2672 or visit the association's website at www.rptia.com.
SOURCE Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association