With retirement set for Dec. 31, Rick and Susan Turner gave themselves just three weeks to find the perfect spot for their winter getaway — a parking spot, that is, writes Beth DeCarbo for a report published by The Wall Street Journal.
In their massive 45-foot Class A motorcoach, the couple visited three RV resorts in Florida in hopes of buying a lot where they could escape the winter chill of Birmingham, Ala. With a budget of $200,000 to $250,000, the Turners sought much more than a standard concrete pad with hookups for electricity and water. They envisioned an RV lot with plenty of entertaining space with a tiki hut or casita, as well as resort amenities like a golf course, lake, swimming pool and spa.
“A lot of places are just trailer parks. We’re not looking to move into a trailer park,” says Turner, 67, a senior vice president at Greenbrier Rail Services, a company that makes freight railcars and equipment.
The Turners were among the couples profiled in a 2018 Mansion article about Class A motorhomes, which at 40- to 45-feet long are among the most lavish models on the market. After that article was published, the couple traded in their 45-foot 2016 Tiffin Zephyr model, purchased for $525,000, and bought a 2019 Tiffin Zephyr for just over $635,000.
They invited us to follow them on their odyssey to find an RV lot where they could enjoy both resort amenities and a friendly community of other RV owners. After visiting three motorcoach resorts in October and early November, they picked—and purchased—their favorite lot. Here’s a breakdown of their journey in chronological order.
Motorcoach Resort St. Lucie West, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The Turners weren’t looking to buy on the eastern side of Florida. “The west side seems more friendly,” Turner says. But they visited the Port St. Lucie resort on the Atlantic coast because dear friends live nearby.
Many of the lots at the resort they visited were already sold, the Turners learned. But one was available that caught their eye: a corner lot with a view of the lake and fountain. The space measured about 4,000 square feet and was listed for $145,000 — far below their budget. This lot lacked a tiki hut, a thatched-roof structure typically built with an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area. Constructing a 400-square-foot tiki hut would take time and money, but the Turners liked the idea that they could build exactly what they wanted.
The resort features live music on Friday nights during the busy season — which starts a little after Thanksgiving and runs through March. What impressed them most, however, was the friendly vibe among the RV owners. “We met four couples,” Turner says, “and we felt acceptance just sitting around at night and having a glass of wine.”
Click here to read the full report at The Wall Street Journal, including stops at Golden Palms Luxury Motorcoach Resort, Fort Myers, Fla., and Naples Motorcoach Resort & Boat Club, Naples, Fla.