Even if we whispered about our luxury RV community, the Gardens RV Village, we’d get attention. No state income tax? Attached, fully enclosed RV garages with full hookups? More than 200 luxurious RV homes with RV garages in the heart of the East Coast? For many attendees during the 2019 FMCA Rally in Perry, Georgia, it sounded like heaven.
Most of the FMCA attendees were Baby Boomers looking for a place to retire. They perked up to learn that retiring in a luxury home with an attached RV garage is no longer just a dream. They wanted to find a spot where they can afford to stay retired, live amongst like-minded people, and enjoy their RVs. Well, we managed to meet a whole lot of people with just this in mind!
Sure, we had a little rain…but mostly just at night. And, yes, we shivered occasionally in unseasonably cool weather. But here it is – almost a month later – and we are still enjoying our memories. It’s now the beginning of April and we’re back in sunny weather on our mountaintop in Tennessee. The temperature says it’s 67 degrees, but we’re all out walking dogs and riding bikes (and perspiring…but, who’s complaining?). Every RV garage door is open! (For a 24/7 update on weather in Crossville, check out the HOA’s new website, www.TheGardensRV.com.)
Luxury homes with attached RV garages
As anyone can guess, hosting a display booth can be darned tough on anyone. It’s even more so on those of us who are (ahem) over 50! The Gardens RV Village booth is unquestionably one of the more complicated ones to set up and tear down. But if it catches the eye of someone looking for the ideal motorcoach retirement community, it’s worth it! One look at one of our enormous RV garages usually does it.
The booth is a ‘big boy’s erector set.’ Tim Wilson, CEO of the Gardens and my husband, conceived of the idea a few years ago, probably during a fit of madness. Weighing in at about a ton-and-a-half, we have to assemble almost 50 interlocking pieces. This is done in order to mount three television sets – each broadcasting rolling pictures of the Gardens. We show our enormous RV garages, the beautiful houses and landscaping, and most of all, photos of the residents having fun.
Typically, it takes several days to erect. But thanks to the enormous generosity of our friends the Koshko’s (shown on the right in the photo above), we set her up in about four hours. I guess we have found true-blue friends because they already knew what they were getting into from the Tampa RV Show back in January. On that show, we had the additional help of the Pratzner’s and the Twigg’s, to whom we are in absolute debt!
At the end of the exhibit, the Koshko’s were joined by the Godfreys and, together, the six of us disassembled the whole morass in a little over an hour. An all-time record, folks! Thank you, thank you!
You get your buddies back
Outside of these two hard-working days, we saw the rest of our time breeze by. And we met so many great couples! The first seminar Tim had was focused specifically on the Gardens, itself. We were flabbergasted at the number of attendees who wanted to attend a product-specific seminar. Most of the time, Tim’s seminar is more general in scope and therefore you expect 50 or 60 people. But we counted more than that as he began to talk about the resort-like surroundings of the Gardens. The community reaches far beyond a lovely home and RV garage. It’s hard to explain how residents in the Gardens play together and take care of one another. Tim told the crowd, “One of our owners put it like this: Remember what it was like when you were in the fifth grade and school let out for the summer? That’s what it’s like to live in the Gardens. You get your buddies back!”
Just today one of our residents came into the office and told me, “I’ve never been happier in my whole life!” He practically had me in tears. “We didn’t even think about what it would mean being surrounded by nothing but RVers before we moved here. We just were interested in traveling in our RV and wanted a home base and RV garage to come back to. But now I realize we have made such deep and enjoyable friendships. It’s just amazing.”
RV retirement options
At the FMCA Rally, Tim gave two other presentations about “RV Retirement Options.” He packed them with information gleaned during his almost 20 years of running the Gardens. All in all, he’s spoken extensively with literally thousands of RVers as they were considering their next steps after retiring. During these conversations, he’s heard the same questions and comments over and over. From this background, he has put together a very informative presentation on things to consider. This experience makes him just about the most qualified person you could ask about RV retirement. For example, he shares information about work camping opportunities. Or as another example, he discusses things to consider when choosing whether to stay in your family home, such as whether or not the expense of taxes will allow you to stay retired. Tim gives great advice about what to look for if you’re interested in purchasing an RV lot or home.
It’s good to be home and we’re looking forward to filling our social calendar with get-togethers like the spring bonfire coming up on the 16th. The Gardens Realty office sets up a huge tent and tables for the tons of food that inevitably appears. We all bring lawn chairs and either form smaller groups or sit around the fire. It’s always fun!
We expect there will be great reviews from the seminars. We can’t wait to get their feedback. As I look out at our private campground, Homeless Hill, I’m excited to see many of the same people we met in Perry!