Saturday, July 24, 2021
Saturday, July 24, 2021

Popular RVing YouTubers buying RV park; fans get first dibs on sites

John and Mercedes Condon were frustrated by their inability to find a decent campsite to use as a home base as they traveled the country, adding to the content on their “RV Odd Couple” website. So, they decided to buy their own campground.

“We are out there, on the road,” said John Condon, a successful contractor who now travels the U.S. with his wife and daughter. “We saw so many in our viewer family without a place to go, too. It’s hard to watch families being stranded or just fighting to find a place to stay.”

The Condons’ loyal “Odd Squad” viewers now total more than 140,000. The RV Odd Couple blog provides them with fun, humorous and informative content and short videos that demonstrate the right and wrong ways to camp.

“I really went down the rabbit hole”

John said he first started thinking about purchasing a campground about a month ago. “I really went down the rabbit hole,” he said. “I found out that buying raw land and starting from scratch is a three- to four-year process to jump through all of the hoops. And that’s if everything goes right.”

They turned their attention to a nationwide search of existing parks for sale, and the next day an interesting possibility popped up on Zillow.

“It was a small park in Ider, Alabama,” John said. “The park had closed about three years ago when it just became too much for the couple running it.” He said one of the owners recently passed away, and the park was put up for sale. “It just seemed to be perfect for us.”

Mercedes Condon said the park seems to have “good bones,” but they both know it will take a lot of work – and funding – to bring it back to life.

“It’s an old campground with 30 full-service sites with 30 amps,” John said. “It also has several cottages, a restaurant, and a pool with a concession area.”

One of the main attractions – at least for the Condons – is that the park sits on just a small piece of the 226 acres that comes with the sale.

“It’s just a beautiful piece of land,” he said. Condon feels comfortable making that statement even though he’s never set foot on the property. Mercedes and John made their offer on the property “sight unseen.”

A membership park with a twist

The Condons envision a membership campground model, where their “RV Odd Squad” followers will be able to lease their own specific site at the park. They would then have a reservation system in place to rent a leaseholder’s site to other campers when it wasn’t in use.

The Condons recently laid out their plans for the Alabama park in a video that has already garnered more than 85,000 views. They are currently making their way across the country to stay at the campground and complete the due diligence process before they take possession. “We had to arrange for them to turn the water and electricity back on so we could stay there,” Mercedes said.

“It’s important to us that this be a community endeavor for our Odd Squad members,” she said. “Our viewers really are like our family members. If you watch our videos, you’ll see the connections we make by being honest with our viewers.”

They said their concept of a leased site in northeastern Alabama has already led to promising contacts with more than 1,000 RVers interested in potentially leasing a site.

If all goes according to plan, the Condons plan to set up what amounts to a homeowners’ association to help set the rules and regulations for the campground.

“We want to build a solid foundation with good principles,” John said. “We want this to be a real incubator, something that can be used as a model and duplicated elsewhere.”

##RVT1005

 

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Snayte
1 month ago

Life is not short. It is the longest thing any of us can do.

Sonny
1 month ago

I’m in dire need of a secure spot = retired couple

Ellen L
1 month ago

We watched them all the time while planning the purchase of our full-time RV. They are a great couple and have great information. I am glad they are expanding their adventure. Good luck, RV Odd Couple.

Richard Davidson
1 month ago

Our park in Florida “Juno Ocean Walk” was an old Yogi Bear Park which was bought out of bankruptcy and turned into a condo association owned by the owners of the individual lots. Each lot is privately owned with the association taking care of the common areas etc. Works out great for us as we rent our lots when not there and have a place to go whenever we want. (provided of course it’s not rented and even if it is there is usually one or more lots open that people can be moved to if we require our lot or we can stay on an open one) The rental pays our taxes and most of our condo fees. Way cheaper than trying to but a house in the area and their value just keeps going up.

Pierre Schexneider
1 month ago

That sounds like a great idea, I would be interested in a spot that could be rented out when not in use.

Cere
1 month ago

Welcome to campground ownership! Say goodbye to that “Freedom. Independence. Adventure.” tagline … and hunker down for some hard work. Best wishes!

Drew
1 month ago

Sounds good. I’d be in with just about all their ideas except the rv training thing.- Somehow I see problems incorporating that into a campground.

Carol
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Did I miss something in this article about training???

California Travel Videos
1 month ago
Reply to  Carol

No Carol, you didn’t miss anything. You’ll need to watch their videos to get a full sense of their vision, personal values and principles that favored Alabama and their sudden pivot to refocus all their energies on this new venture. They certainly are consistent with their succinct value proposition…

Freedom, Independence and Adventure, because life is so short.

RV Odd Couple
1 month ago

Thank you 🙏💚

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