What Is A Park Model RV?

There are so many different types of RVs and then there is the grey area of mobile homes, park model RVs and manufactured homes, it can be difficult to know where to start. This article will start with – what is a Park Model RV?

A Park Model RV is more like a tiny house than an RV and meets specific qualifying criteria. Park Models are 400 square feet and 10 to 12 feet in length, are built on a trailer chassis and have the axles and wheels removed after setting up. 

Park Model Recreational Vehicles are a great way to invest in an affordable, seasonal vacation site that still gives you the freedom to move in the future (although their purpose is to remain stationary).

But precisely what is a Park Model RV? How are they any different from regular RVs? And what are some of the pros and cons of getting one vs. other RV models? 

We’ll go over all of that and more in this post so let’s get into it.

The History of Park Model RVs

Park Model RVs are regulated by code. In Canada, that’s the CSA Z241. This code encompasses a series of standards to ensure that all Park Model RVs in the Canadian market meet minimum safety and performance requirements. 

In the United States, HUD construction standards and the RVIA govern the manufacturing and performance requirements of Park Models. There are some significant differences between the Canadian and American standards, so make sure you know where you’re getting your information from. 

Park Model’s must adhere to the maximum size of 50sq. meters (538sq. feet). In the US, this limit reduces to 400 square meters in complete setup mode. It must also be over 2.6 meters wide.

And this width is what truly separates it from other kinds of RVs. Typically you’ll see Park Model RVs with a “Wide Load” sign when travelling to their lot. That’s because they are wider than conventional RVs.

What Is An RV Park Model?

We all know what regular trailer RV’s look like, but Park Models are unique in specific ways. 

You can think of a Park Model as a temporary home tailored to a trailer park setting. Their purpose is more permanence than travel, and their design enables more extended periods of sustained use. 

They do resemble RV’s, but they are more like a tiny house. And with 400 square feet, you can do an awful lot that you can’t do with other mobile homes. It’s cozy, yes, and easy to fit in any standard trailer lot. 

But the great benefit of a Park Model RV is that Park Model designers can use the space more efficiently by eliminating things like safety equipment and wheels. 

That’s not to say there aren’t some downsides to these kinds of mobile homes, and we’ll go over that more below. But on the whole, if you are looking to stay at a trailer park lot permanently, a Park Home model is probably what you want. 

What Is A Park Model RV?

How Is a Park Model RV Different From an RV?

The difference between a Park Model RV and other types of RVs is that with a Park Model, the intention is to plant it at a seasonal site and keep it there. Park Model RVs often get set up with coverings, decks, and other permanent fixtures that you wouldn’t have with a regular RV.

Park Model RV’s give you the feeling of permanence associated with a cottage or vacation home. But you still have the option to pack up and head somewhere new. You can therefore think of a Park Model RV as a convenient Hybrid. 

Pros of Park Model RVs

The main advantages of Park Model RVs are:

  • Less pricey than other vacation homes
  • Enjoy longer seasons and full ownership of your property
  • Everything a home has, a Park Model RV has
  • Wider than a tiny house
  • Can be set up with add ons and porches

A Park Model RV is the perfect choice if you know the trailer park you want to call home and you’re ready to set up your new vacation or tiny home permanently. 

Park Home Models give you just a little bit more luxury and space. They feel more like a home than an RV and usually can fit more amenities than other RV models. 

A larger floor space means that you don’t have to make as many compromises when setting up your space. Full-sized bathrooms, extra beds, lofts, and larger dining areas are all possible. Most have sliding screen doors, and a few models have expandable sections. This can increase your square footage even more. 

And there is always the option to winterize your Park Model RV and turn it into a year-round home. 

Cons of Park Model RVs


The main disadvantages of Park Model RVs are:

  • Not as easy to pack up and move as other RVs
  • Limited optimal season time
  • Limited floor plans and storage space
  • Not meant to be moved around

Most RVs have built-in engines but not Park Models. This means they need to be towed behind a very sturdy vehicle and attached via a trailer bed to the base. They are indeed much bulkier than a regular RV on the road, and it can be challenging to take it from place to place. 

Additionally, you’ll have to get a winterized model if you want to use it all season long or pick a location with pleasant weather year-round. 

Final Thoughts

A Park Model RV is a towable RV that is designed to stay in a permanent location within an RV park. Park Model’s are a great choice if you want a vacation home for the summer at a fraction of the cost.

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