Friday, December 1, 2023


Operating an RV park: We have walls!

By Machelle James
As we continue to build our check-in area and store, we have progress! The concrete truck came out and poured our slab for the actual building at our RV park, and also poured the footers for our retaining wall. This was was done over the last two weeks. AJ has been working every single day on measuring, cutting and installing the frame of the building.

AJ’s dad drove his RV here from California to guide him on how to build the right way, as he has MANY years of commercial construction under his belt. We also had friends with the right equipment come over to lift the trusses in place. That was no easy task. We still have one more to do, and that will be done later today. The walls are up and we have windows waiting for installation. AJ sent over the roof plans to our local building supply store so we can order our metal roof.

The store and check-in area of the RV park

Artist rendering of the store. We decided to not have a door to the office to the outside. The metal roof will be green and the sides a light brown.

I can actually “see” what it will look like with an office and storefront. It is an 800-square-foot building, with approximately 600 square feet for retail space. We have been designing the space on paper with cabinets, wall design for merchandise, and displays for food products for the store.

We have signed up with Pepsi to have them supply the double door refrigerator and the coffee machines. Of course, we have to buy the products from them, but we are good with that arrangement. We also signed up to have ice delivery service – so our campers can finally get the ice they need!

Our concrete floor is designed for use. We did a swirl method and there are a lot of colors in there!

Special coffee machine for our campers

I requested a coffee machine that grinds the beans and brews a fresh cup of coffee right on the spot. Now, I don’t think I am a coffee snob, but I do think that is the best tasting coffee when it is freshly brewed. It may be a mind game, but hearing the beans grind, the water brewing over the grounds, smelling that rich coffee scent and seeing a steaming hot cup of Joe pour into my cup is HEAVENLY! I am so excited to offer this to our campers. I think they will love to get their morning jolt of caffeine the same way we do!

The store being framed.

Now the fun part begins of what types of snacks to have, drinks, ice creams, local wares and the types of displays to have inside the store. I hope my ideas match my budget. I have a huge portfolio of saved Pinterest ideas for the store. We were given several display cases from stores that were going out of business or moving. They just need to be sanded and re-painted. As I am writing this, I am panicking at how much we still need to do before April 1st!

AJ in front of store with the walls up.

A fence around our house

Our local post hole digger guy came by with his tractor and dug more than 75 holes around our house for us. We will have the privacy, cedar fencing on 3 sides that will match the rest of the property. AJ will make split rail fencing on the Entrance/Exit side so we can see from our house when campers arrive and leave. It will be so nice to not have ampers walk in our house when we have our PJs on. Some folks thought our home was the office, when our RV was the office last season. Needless to say, that was a bit embarrassing for all of us. Hence, pretty soon, we will have a fence!

Last week was Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. We bought items for our campers that we think will be a huge hit. We bought an outdoor screen projector with a blow-up screen measuring 15 feet diagonally. I think watching a movie, under the stars, on a blanket with your family and friends would make for a very memorable experience. I can’t wait to try it out with our neighbors to make sure everything works perfectly before our next season starts.

As we get ready for the next big wave of construction, here are some photos to show you our progress!

Thank you for following our Campground journey and See You in the Trees!

And please leave a comment!

AJ, Machelle and Jenna

Read previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, built, 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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Diane Mc (@guest_154814)
1 year ago

You guys are amazing. Machelle, you have a wonderful attitude. No matter the roadblocks or size of the task you both just power through. Much admiration. Getting close to being done & then all fun. Well, sans a few grumpy campers you might encounter😬. Hope those are few and far between. Can’t wait to see more pics.

Machelle James (@guest_154837)
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Hi Diane! Thanks for your kind words of support! We are hustling to get a roof on as the snow is coming next week!

Ed D. (@guest_154778)
1 year ago

Hello Machelle. Coming right along. You described that coffee so well that I was tempted to drive there and have a cup. 🙂 A lot to do yet but you will “Git er dun”! Keep us posted with the progress whenever you can. I look forward to taking the journey through your eyes. Have a great week!

Machelle James (@guest_154836)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Hi Ed! I agree!! I just LOVE that fresh ground coffee process! It’s going to be right across from me, so I’ll get to smell it every time someone gets coffee! Have a great week and hopefully next article we will have the patio areas completed and a roof will be on!

Neal Davis (@guest_154701)
1 year ago

So excited to see the continued progress and hear the plans for the future! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. Best wishes for all that lies ahead!

Machelle James (@guest_154834)
1 year ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Hi Neal! Thank you so much! We cannot believe we are this far with the store so quickly! Please come visit us if you’re in our neck of the woods!

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