In many ways, the Encore RV Park of Vero Beach, Fla., is like other desirable suburban neighborhoods, with well-kept lawns and concrete streets and driveways.
There also is a heated swimming pool, horseshoe pits, activity centers and various other amenities for the residents.
According to a report in the Vero Beach Press-Journal, most of the 300 sites at the park are occupied by people who stay up to six months at a time, with some keeping their large recreational vehicles there year-round.
Other people may only stay there on a month-to-month basis. Around 30 of the sites are occupied by full-time residents.
Harry and Leslie Sargent have been living in their 37-foot-long recreational vehicle at the park for 10 years.
“It’s an interesting way of life,” said Harry Sargent. “It’s kind of carefree.”
Up to four or five years ago, Sargent said, there weren’t a lot of people at the park. But now, he said, there are a lot of people staying in the park during the summer and it fills up during the winter.
This year has been especially busy as workers and residents displaced by the hurricanes have scrambled for a place to stay.
The park was among the first places to accommodate local residents displaced by the hurricanes, temporarily opening up their gates for trailers brought in by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Even though many residents only live in the park part time, there is a sense of community among the neighbors. There are group trips to restaurants and to other activities in and out of the park.
There also is the flexibility of being able to relocate at will, along with being free of the burdens of home ownership, like taking care of a yard or paying property taxes.
“We didn’t know we would be here this long, but looking back we enjoyed every minute of it. I wouldn’t do it any other way,” Sargent said.