Rustic-looking cabins are now sharing space with motorhomes in a growing number of campgrounds and RV parks, according to the Arizona Republic.
That has boosted business for Cavco Industries Inc., a Phoenix manufactured-home builder that is experiencing strong demand for its cedar cabins.
“Business has been really good for us,” Tim Gage, director of sales and marketing at Cavco, told the newspaper. “(The cabins) have really gotten us through a time when the RV market was slow.”
Gage said the cabins, which are especially popular in California, mainly attract middle-income families who want to experience RV life without having to buy and drive a motorhome.
“They can just pull into a campground and rent a cabin,” he said. “Everything is in there, including furniture, plates and blankets. It’s pretty sweet.”
Daily rental rates on the cabins range from about $60 to as much as $400 at a seaside campground in Santa Barbara, Calif., he said.
Cavco manufactures about 400 of the cabins a year at its facility at 35th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road in Phoenix.
They are between 250 and 400 square feet in size and are built under the same RV codes as the company’s popular park models.
Park models are cottagelike RV units that are roomier than conventional travel trailers. They are designed to be placed in parks instead of being driven or towed like traditional RVs. They have been popular since the 1980s at Arizona RV parks, largely among snowbirds who buy or rent them for use during the winter months.
But in recent years, Arizona parks have been running out of space for the cottage-style RVs. Increased land costs and a decline in the number of snowbirds also have discouraged the development of new parks, Gage said. That has resulted in a 75% decline in demand for park models since 1996, he said.
At the same time, manufactured cabins have been growing in popularity in parks in Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Colorado.
Gene Mourglea, who operates two campgrounds in Northern California, said the cabins have allowed him to remain open in the winter to accommodate snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.
“The cabins give us a lot more diversification so we can attract a wider range of people,” Mourglea said.
The increased popularity of the cabins has prompted Cavco to ramp up its production and seek more business outside Arizona.
Gage said the company, best known for its products geared toward snowbirds, is slowly gaining recognition in colder climates.