Thursday, June 8, 2023


Building an RV park from scratch: We are officially full-time RVers!

By Machelle James
The flood of emotions that came over us when we packed up that final load: excitement, fear, happy, sad, joyful – you name it, we felt it. We said goodbye to our friends, family and Jenna’s teachers. At noon on a Thursday, we moved out and new owners moved in.

Goodbye to the “old” house.

We headed up the hill for our new life in Overgaard, AZ. We didn’t think we had that much left to pack – we were wrong. We had to store a few items at our friends’ house as we could not fit one more box in my car, his truck or the trailer!

Once we arrived at our new home, we celebrated with a cold beverage for us and a root beer for Jenna. It took us a solid 12 hours to unload and reload it all in our storage container. Needless to say, I think I’m getting some serious arm muscles!

Jenna all packed and ready to go.

We have become quite skilled at living and working in our RV and have condensed only necessary items in the RV for the next three months. We even have a desk set up in there with a rolling office chair. We put a tall dresser,  portable rolling storage towers and a cube cubby in the rig as well. All the pantry items, cleaning supplies and office supplies have a home now.

I’ll admit the first thing I want completed in the cabin is the  bathroom – I cannot wait to take a hot bath again! As well as not run out of hot water as we do in the RV.

ANNOUNCEMENT! We are so happy to share with you that we signed our Contract with the engineering firm! In a few weeks we’ll have the drone video and the land survey completed. Then we can really bring you up to speed on the progress of our campground.

We are still trying to figure out ways to lessen the road noise from the highway. Concrete walls, berms, cedar fencing with tons of trees. Placing the RV storage area on that side of the property to absorb the sounds. Lots of options – we just need to find the one that fits. It is 1,100 feet long and all I see are dollar signs! We don’t mind doing work – we just don’t know which way to go yet.

For our neighborhood welcome, we were invited to a BBQ and Beverage Party.  I have to say there are really kind, honest and hardworking people up here. I really feel we are being introduced to the right people who want to help us succeed in our journey.

My stress levels have gone down considerably, and we have partial funding set up to get us started. That alone has reduced our anxiety and fears about how we were going to move forward.

Newly tiled shed.

Meanwhile, AJ has put up can lighting throughout the cabin and he put in a tile floor in our shed. Now we have our 2nd refrigerator set up for drinks and frozen food! We picked out interior and exterior paint colors for the cabin as we still need to seal the logs, fill in cracks and remove the old paint before we continue.

As for now and as of today, life is good. It’s a slower pace and it’s super quiet here. The sounds of cicadas hum us to sleep at night and the birds chirp us awake in the mornings. My morning coffee never tasted better than up here. I know we made the right decision and I am so thankful we have support from all of you and our families!

Thank you for following our journey and, as always, see you in the trees! And please leave a comment.

Find Machelle’s previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kathee Merkley
3 years ago

Forevermore you can share the tale of moving out of the Valley of The Sun in JUNE. Go ahead and exaggerate the details cause Phx in summer is brutal (even if we did have long spring this yr!). I’m just glad you survived and even got to be with new grandbaby in the middle of moving. NOW we PRAY EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That people will be smart and not cause any more summer fires. Thru the years it seems that man-caused fires do more acreage damage and longer to put out than lightning started?? Love your stories.

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Kathee Merkley

Hi Kathee! Oh you know it! Those summers are BRUTAL! We moved the first time to QC in July 6 years ago and I thought we were going to die. We have been very lucky that it was only 100* instead of the normal 118*!
Yes, pray for no more wildfires as our beautiful state is burning up! Thank you so much for your support Kathee!! I really appreciate your input!

3 years ago

Great news, great progress, one step at a time! We’re cheering you onward and upward!

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Thank you Linda! We are moving forward for sure!!

3 years ago

So excited for you! You are missed in the Valley…. but a small price to pay to see you live your dream! See you in the trees!!! ???

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheri

Thank you Sheri! It is finally coming together. Come see us anytime, here in the trees! Hugs friend!

3 years ago

Second post for me. I’m happy for you and family on another step forward. Hoping to be one of the first to stay at your CG. Keep smiling:)!

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Gil

Thank you Gil! I’m thankful you are following our journey. We are taking a break today to do some riding and enjoy Fathers Day! Happy Day to you!!

Ed and Robin D.
3 years ago

Thank you for building a new RV Park. Lord knows we need more people like you to help with the overcrowding in parks and lack of available RV Spots when needed. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to following your adventure here on RV Travel.

3 years ago

Well said Ed and Robin. I wish them well too. From Alberta Canada. The good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise we’ll meet you folks one day. Best of luck. Alvin & Geri.

Machelle James
3 years ago
Reply to  Alvin

Thank you Alvin! We are grateful you are following our journey. Maybe one day you can come on down and we can meet you! Safe travels every where you go!

Machelle James
3 years ago

Thank you Ed and Robin! We are taking a slight break today. Yesterday was installing insulation, drywall, and having our first guest drive up from the valley stay for the day. We are thankful for your support and positivity!

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.