by Robert Klassen
by Robert Klassen
I first became interested in recreational vehicles in 1963, when I met one of the pioneers in the business of designing, building, and selling them. He was passionate about RVs, the industry, and the lifestyle, and even though he was dying of cancer, he was building yet another new model. (I'm sorry that I can't recall his proper name, but it was pronounced "haul-ee." If that rings any bells, please let me know.)
Since then I've owned seven RVs. RVs come in all shapes and sizes, from little tear-drop trailers and tent-trailers to mammoth fifth-wheel trailers and buses. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to over a million. I've always been in what you might call the low end of the resale market, buying old RVs from owners at less than dealer prices.
I suppose that most folks use their RV for the advertised purpose, a vacation trip or a weekend outing, but some people actually live in one year-round. I did that for a couple of years, and it was an instructive experience; I learned a lot about RV parks.
RV parks also come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. I lived in one that was run down and ratty in appearance, but I had the most beautiful view of the mountains and lake in the community, and it cost practically nothing; the owner of that park did not see the view as a saleable commodity and, significantly, he did not live there; he speculated in such properties.
Today I live in a rural planned community where a person owns the lot, and the improvements. The "community" owns the water system, the lake, the golf course, the community center, and the parks that provide public access to the lake. The roads belong to the county. Electricity comes from the political utility district. Sewage is the homeowner's problem, as is garbage disposal. Community expenses are paid by homeowner "dues" on top of taxes, and utility costs. Security is the homeowner's problem. The community is governed by unpaid, elected volunteers, a committee of busybodies who have time on their hands. Apparently unsolvable problems are free-riders, squatters, theft, and vandalism.
I visit a recreational vehicle resort. The entire property belongs to one owner, who lives there. Each RV site rental includes water, electricity, sewage and garbage disposal, plus cable television and WiFi Internet connections. There is a lake, a swimming pool, a golf course, a restaurant and bar, and a small shopping center. The roads are clean and maintained, and private security patrols the area. There are no free-riders, no squatters, no theft, no vandalism, and no busybodies trying to run things. It's private property. I still own my own home, but I rent the rest.
Property development entrepreneurs owe a debt of gratitude to Spencer MacCallum for explaining the natural benefits of proprietary management of physical property. Property development entrepreneurs will owe a further debt of gratitude to Alvin Lowi, Jr., when they adopt his engineering innovations in water management, waste treatment, and with Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., electricity production, which would free them from "public" utilities. These innovations coupled with insurance would reduce the demand for political government to a minimum, and could eliminate it altogether.
I think I'll keep my RV.
March 30, 2005
Robert Klassen [send him mail] retired from a forty-year career in critical-care respiratory therapy. He is the author of five books, including Atlantis: A Novel about Economic Government, and Economic Government, which describe a solution to the problem of political government. Here's his web site.
Copyright © 2005 Robert Klassen