Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Building an RV park: We are overwhelmed! But a change in plans …

Update from the editor: 2:00 p.m. Pacific time, Saturday, May 29
Machelle just heard from their contractor that due to product delays, AJ and Machelle are unable to have a soft opening on the June 18th weekend. They now will go right into a Grand Opening on July 1. They want to thank you for your patience during this construction phase and trust that you understand that some things are completely out of their control. (The following report from Machelle is as originally written.)

By Machelle James
We are overwhelmed, but in a GLORIOUS way! We have a few big announcements to share about the progress at AJ’s Getaway RV Park.

We went LIVE with our reservation system on Friday, May 28, at 8:00 a.m.! Our Grand Opening weekend will be June 25, and we could not be more excited! Having related that good news, we are also having a soft opening on June 18-19 for up to 43 RVs.

A free weekend for YOU

Now, this particular weekend would be free for YOU. It gives us a chance to thank you for your support, and also to practice having guests arrive and depart and figure out how much time it takes for each task.

We also will be cutting the last of the limbs, if need be, so guests can easily get in and out of their sites at our RV Park. There could be some last-minute work to be done that we might even need help with – if you are able and would like to help.

If you would like to partake in the free weekend, I need about 30 (RVs) of you, as I need room for family to stay and help out too. Please email me at to let me know you’d like to participate and a phone number so I can call you. To reserve other dates, please go to our website at and click on “book now”.

Septic system is complete!

AJ's Getaway RV Park
Our completed septic system

During this time, we also have submitted letters for approval from Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) as our septic system is complete! We did a test run and it runs SO good. We will be building a fence around the tank so no one can climb on top of the lids or mess with the electric panels.

AJ's Getaway RV Park
New power pole being installed

The electric company installed a new power pole on our property, and WOW, was that so cool to see! They also approved our primary electric conduits, which is our high voltage lines. So all we need is a final inspection when the electric lines are completely pulled through the conduit and connected to each pedestal.

AJ’s Getaway RV Park souvenirs are on the way

I also ordered T-shirts and hats for you ladies and gents. They should arrive in about two weeks. We have our signage coming in next week, and we are building our sign monument ourselves. We should have that installed in a week or so and I’ll take photos for you to see!

On Tuesday, June 1st, we have A LOT going on at our park. We have my cousin coming up to start pulling the wires for electric. Our fence panels are being delivered. And our appraiser will be here to walk the property to submit a report to the bank. We need to be at a certain number to fund this project, so we will be anxiously awaiting his report.

AJ's Getaway RV Park site numbers
AJ finished the last of the site numbers

AJ has finished all 43 numbered sign posts and they look amazing! We both are feeling elated, exhausted, stressed, excited and every emotion in between.

A moment of happiness

We had a friend stop by with their 5th wheel today and we walked the property of our RV Park with their kids. The kids were laughing, running, playing – and it truly just made my heart so happy. They were excited to be here, away from home and out of the heat. It reminded me of WHY we are doing this and it made me take a step back and not get so caught up in the process, but to enjoy this moment of happiness.

Thank you all for following our Campground Journey, and See You in the Trees!

And please leave a message!

AJ, Machelle and Jenna

Read 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.




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1 year ago

Hope you continue the updates after you open.

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  TomS

I will absolutely write for as long as Chuck lets me! I will have some good camper stories once we get open. As well as how the innards are functioning!!

Neal Davis
1 year ago

Sounds great! I cannot imagine how elated, how happy you must be to have gotten so far, to be so close to opening. Congratulations! I am looking forward to staying with you in the future. Meanwhile, best wishes!

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Thank You Neal! We have worked SO hard to get here. We truly appreciate your support!

1 year ago

So proud of you and yours! You are doing great!!! If I don’t see you this year I will next year. Best wishes…😎

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig

Thank you Craig! It’s hard to believe we will be open next month!
We do hope you’ll come by next year in your travels!

Donald Schneider
1 year ago

Hello Machelle- So happy for you two! Opening an RV park is NOT for the faint of heart…having helped open 2 as work kampers. Be patient with yourselves taking reservations. Tip- print out a reservation form for taking the information first then putting it into the system. This really helps when you’re super busy.
Park map question- are the arrows on Allen Avenue correct? People going into the sites 3-10 are cutting across exiting traffic? And there are no arrows on the part by the storage area. Thanks for the explanation in advance.
Reservation system – Equipment type – Add “Motorhome Towing” and “Class C” – since they may leave for town and leave hoses on the site – so are not gone yet so should not be “checked out early”.

Thanks for listening.

Machelle James
1 year ago

Hi Donald- Thank You again!! We are overjoyed!!!

OK, so the road on Alien Ave is 1 road, wide enough for 2 RV’s to pass each other. So, our guests would simply pull into their site. Remember, its 5 mph, so it will be fine.
Our storage area will have gates when they are here and we will assist them to the location every time so we can unlock the gate. That is a good idea for the reservation system. We do have it on our backend on then they checkout, whether they look like they are gone or not, we will not move their items UNLESS it is 11 am on the day of checkout and they are not back yet…

Donald Schneider
1 year ago
Reply to  Machelle James

Machelle, Good Morning and thanks for the explanations. Enjoy your GREAT progress!!!

1 year ago

It’s good to hear you will open soon! Hoping to get back to Arizona. We will definitely try to stay at your park. Congrats!

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Patricia

Hi Patricia! Thank you so much for the well wishes!! We do hope you’ll make it out our way!

Carl Jones
1 year ago

We can’t make your Grand Opening as we live in Washington, but have followed your building process with interest. We will stop by when we travel to the SW either in 2022 or 2023. Congratulations on the success we know you’ll have!

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl Jones

Hi Carl! Thank you for your continued support and and following our journey! We do hope you’ll make it out to see us in the next couple of years!

Ed D.
1 year ago

Good morning Machelle. Glad to hear that things are progressing at a fast pace. I am sure the appraiser will do you justice with the Bank. How could he/she not do so? Good luck with the opening. We are all pulling for you.

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Hi Ed!! Thank you for your kind words of wisdom while we get to the finish line. (If there will be one!) We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it does look just amazing!!! In two weeks, we should have pictures of a few completed sites!!

1 year ago

Hip Hip Hurray!

Machelle James
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

THANK YOU!!! That’s what we will be saying too!!!

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