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Behind the growing trend to own RV land

| Updated May 17, 2023

There are a lot of RVers who want to own RV land thanks to overcrowded and expensive campgrounds, inflation and sky-high fuel costs, and a need for a reliable port in the storm.

It's been almost a year now since we bought 5 acres of wooded land in Mid-Tennessee as a personal RV retreat, which we have since developed with a circular driveway, water, electric, and sewer hookups for three RV spots.

The property we selected is located in a huge, 5,300-acre development called the Woodlands at Buffalo River. We're down there every chance we can!

This is NOT an RV park or campground. It is raw, wild land that can be used for hunting, hiking, horseback riding, ATVing or… RV camping.

There is no HOA and owners can choose to develop their property pretty much however they want.

In fact, someday, we can even see building a cabin or house there.

We are not alone. We've met other RVers like us from across the country who have done the same thing.

We just released a new video on the growing popularity of owning RV property. Click below to see:

The main reasons people want to own RV Land

We've talked to dozens of RVers over the past year about the growing appeal of owning RV property. There really are not that many places like the Woodlands at Buffalo River. While campgrounds and RV resorts across the country sell RV lots, they are typically quite small and located next to other campers.

The kind of land we're talking about usually involves raw parcels ranging in size from a few acres to over 100.

We just finished a gathering here that brought more than 50 of our friends and supporters to the area. The above video will introduce you to many of them.

But here are some of the reasons people have told us that they want to own RV land:

  • We have met several RVers who live in Florida and are also eyeing property in mid-Tennessee because they want a safe and secure spot to evacuate during hurricanes.
  • Others see Mid-Tennessee as being centrally located in beautiful rural countryside and thus a great “base camp” from which they can launch out to explore nearby states and visit friends and relatives.
  • The ability to get away from the busyness of city life is a huge draw.
  • Always having a spot to camp without reservations in an area rich in recreational opportunities.
  • Those who own RV land can store their RVs there.
  • A slower pace of life and the peace and quiet of the countryside.

How we came to own RV Land

this is where we decided to own rv land

All this year, we have been frequently reporting on the growing trend among many RVers to own RV camping spots. But you may find it helpful if we go into a bit of detail about how the process worked for us.

Before we bought, we made two previous trips to the area, located about 20 miles south and a bit west of I-40, an hour and a half west of Nashville.

One initial trip was to a place called the Landings, located right on the banks of Kentucky Lake (the Tennessee River). We first visited there in early summer of 2021 and interviewed a bunch of owners for a story on owning your RV campsite.

We returned for a follow-up report on the RV Land ownership trend in October to see how they were doing and while there, learned about the Woodlands at Buffalo River, which was not far away. So after wrapping up the story on the Landings, we headed over to tour the Woodlands.

After those stories, we kept thinking about what we saw. We couldn't get the idea out of our heads. We wanted to own RV land, and we fell in love with Mid-Tennessee, especially the nearby town of Linden, which bills itself as being in “Nashville's Big Back Yard.”

The Buying Process

For us, it started with that first look at the property when we came down to do the story in October of 2021. Click below to see that video.

This is from our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel

To tell the truth, I wanted to buy right then. But with such an important step, Jen convinced me we needed to do some more research. So for several weeks, we looked at satellite images of the area, learned all we could about Linden and Perry County, studied maps, and talked with representatives of the company.

One thing with the particular property we chose that really helped guide our decision was the fact that it was located off a very low-traffic public road that is maintained by the County and already had city water. That meant we would not have to drill a well. Electricity is also available off the road from the Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative.

now we own rv land
Be sure to carefully inspect the land

From maps of the entire project sent to us by the developers, we arranged another trip and set an appointment with Cree Ham, the sales manager, and Jim Comes, the project supervisor.

From our research back home, we had narrowed our search down to four different parcels and inspected each of them. In all, we spent three days on-site, walking all over each parcel.

The Woodlands at Buffalo River has been selling parcels from five acres up to 69 acres, at prices starting around $79,900, depending on location and topographical features.

We liked all of the four properties we looked at. But it was the five-acre parcel marked as site 25 that stood out the most. We asked and got permission to spend the night on it in our RV.

That was the one we decided on. It fronts the road and is bordered on both sides by a series of small ravines, called hollers by the locals. At the back, a series of ridges staircases to the west.

The parcel is heavily forested. Loblolly pines are the predominant tree, with a nice assortment of hardwoods on the sides and back. In fact, that's the name we chose for our property – “Lobllolly Ridge.”

A flat area in about the center of the five acres is where we cleared trees for the driveway, camping spots and hookups.

Why did we want to own RV Land?

Behind the growing trend to own RV land 1
Our RV property in Tennessee

For us, it came down to seven reasons:

  • We wanted a guaranteed spot to camp.
    In these times of massive congestion and overbooked campgrounds where you need to make a reservation a year in advance, owning our own RV land in an area we liked just makes a lot of sense.
  • When we camp, we want peace and quiet, beautiful scenery, wilderness, and lots of elbow room.
    If you follow us, you know that boondocking is our preferred form of camping. This land is indeed wild. It is as remote as the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Five wooded acres like we chose gives us plenty of space.
  • We can stay as long as we want.
    There are no stay limits. And because we can install electric, water and sewer hookups, this land is be like a resort – for just us!
  • We can work remotely right from the property.
    Cell coverage is excellent. But as a major bonus, fiber optic cable is being run right past our lot, making it easy to connect. It should be available to us by year's end.
  • Even though the land is remote, shopping, medical services and restaurants are only a few minutes away in Linden.
    Linden has been voted as one of the best small towns in Tennessee. The historic Commodore Hotel, built in 1939 and meticulously restored, has been named one of “Six Great Places to Stay in Tennessee.” The Commodore's Music Cafe brings in Nashville and local musicians every Friday night.
  • Land appreciates.
    As the saying goes, God is not making any more of it. Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and land prices are rapidly rising all over Tennessee. This property is close enough to Nashville to easily visit (our son and his family live there), but far enough away to avoid the congestion and craziness.
  • Recreational opportunities around the property abound.
    The Buffalo River, which borders the Woodlands development, is one of the most beautiful waterways in Tennessee. It's perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and the smallmouth bass fishing is awesome. The Natchez Trace is nearby. There are numerous hiking trails, nature preserves, and the beautiful Mousetail State Park just a few miles away. And the Tennessee River is also nearby, a river so big it's also known as Kentucky Lake.

Getting the permits

own rv land our property
This is the land

Once we decided on the parcel and made the agreement to buy with the developers, Jim Comes guided me into Linden where we signed up and paid the fees for our electricity, made arrangements for a water tap, and applied for a permit to install a septic tank.

Then, we went back to the property and Jim helped lay out a rough driveway. I met with an excavator to arrange for clearing the trees needed for the driveway and to prepare the property for the RV pad and septic installation.

It has been an amazingly simple process so far and work on the improvements wrapped up in late summer 2022. We now have three sites, all with water, electric and sewer connections.

Now that we own RV Land, here's how we use it

Behind the growing trend to own RV land 2
Cree Ham, the sales manager of the Wpodlands at Buffalo River, gave Jen a tour of the property

The property is halfway between our home in Michigan and our Condo on Okaloosa Island, FL. So every time we travel between the two spots, we stay on the land. Usually, a couple of nights, at least.

But we also use it for extended stays for as long as two weeks.

We are traveling half to three-quarters of the time. And although we love every minute of it, we are always working, shooting videos, doing podcasts, recording interviews, writing blog posts, and researching for our travel books. When you try to fit all that work around RVing, you can see that if we don't intentionally create downtime, we could easily get burned out.

This property lets us chill out, decompress, and get away from having to juggle work around travel. In particular, I like to stay on the property so I can concentrate distraction-free during the writing phase for our RV travel books.

Here's a video tour of our developed property

We've been documenting the whole process in a series of videos over the past year. There's a whole playlist, in fact, on owning RV land.

But if you want to see our progress, here's the video we did once all the initial improvements were made. They took, by the way, 10 months to complete:

What's next for us?

Well, we're so enjoying the land that we just met with a couple of contractors about the next phase of our development. We hope to begin a couple of new projects right after the first of the year.

So stay tuned.

Behind the growing trend to own RV land 3
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-10-21

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

29 Responses to “Behind the growing trend to own RV land”

February 05, 2022at3:19 pm, Mike C said:

We’re hoping to meet you on 12 Feb. would love your help ahead of time finding the satellite images you described. I’ve been chatting with Cree.


December 07, 2021at6:32 pm, Tom Stapleton said:

Mike and Jennifer, That was a great video! I really enjoyed how you surveyed the area and shared your ideas. My wife Debra and I purchased lot #23 on Oct. 30! We might be neighbors in the future. I will be looking forward to how you will be developing your property. I am interested in how the perc test goes and who you get to clear the trees for you. I also spoke to Cree Ham about services to use for developing the land. Have a great day


January 12, 2022at8:48 am, LINO DE LA HERA said:

Hi Tom, we are thinking of purchasing a lot, any suggestions. are you happy with the purchase? Have you done any work on the land.
Thank you for any information.
Have a great day.


December 03, 2021at12:54 pm, Kevin Schrecengost said:

Hoping to see you guys on the 11th!


November 30, 2021at1:15 am, LeeAnne Gutierrez said:

I recently purchased my first RV 42 ft toy hauler that I pull with my tractor since I’m still OTR driver Is this area easily accessible with a tractor? Retirement is just a few months away and what a perfect place to have a getaway Congratulations on your purchase and hope to see you soon


November 28, 2021at9:44 pm, Barbara Loughlin said:

I read about this property online a few months ago. It looks beautiful. My main concern, as my husband pointed out, no HOA’s. That means your neighbor can do anything he wants on his land – including running a pig farm. I know many people are opposed to HOA’s – “no one is going to tell me what I can do on my land” BUT I would like to know that I won’t have a nightmare next to me.


November 30, 2021at10:05 am, Lisa Cate said:

Woods wouldn’t be the best place for someone wanting to start a pig farm. Even then pigs would be less stink than having to deal with a HOA running everything. There’s probably campsites with HOAs but they wouldn’t be where I’d want to live. Probably dictate more than just 🐖 farming like tell you your camper had to be newer than 10 years old to stay there.


November 30, 2021at10:36 pm, Teresa Tillock said:

Love the land ! Congrats:)
Question, what made you guys decide on The Woodlands ? Instead of the other 2 properties at Waverly, TN and The Landing?
Thanks and Blessings


November 27, 2021at10:47 pm, Gio Dupree said:

Hi Mike and Jen,
My husband and I were there for the October 30th sale. We came very close to purchasing Lot 18 .We loved the town of Linden and the Commodore Hotel. Everyone we met was so friendly and down to earth.
We are still talking about it. We live in New Jersey and it is a long trip to get there. We’re not sure if it would work for us because of the distance unless we decide to build and relocate. We are newbies and we purchased our first RV at the Hershey show this year and going to Tennessee was our first RV trip… Everyone was so accommodating when we decided to stay the night so we could have more time to think about the possible purchase. We actually ended up boondocking in a Church parking lot in Linden. 😊


November 28, 2021at7:42 am, Mike Wendland said:

Yes, Linden is certainly a charming city and the Commodore is such a great place to hang out. Congrats on the new RV!


November 30, 2021at1:13 am, LeeAnne Gutierrez said:

I recently purchased my first RV 42 ft toy hauler that I pull with my tractor since I’m still OTR driver Is this area easily accessible with a tractor? Retirement is just a few months away and what a perfect place to have a getaway congratulations on your purchase and hope to see you soon


November 27, 2021at3:11 pm, Susan Williamson said:

Welcome to the neighborhood! We bought Lot 11.
Looking forward to meeting y’all at The Commodore Hotel. They host a heck of a Friday happy hour. 😊


November 27, 2021at4:25 pm, Mike Wendland said:

Hi neighbor…
We know your lot… right on the corner. Yes, we love the Commodore! Happy Hour and great music.
Looking forward to meeting you in person.


January 12, 2022at8:51 am, LINO DE LA HERA said:

Good morning Susan,
My wife and I are thinking of purchasing a lot here in the development. Are you happy with the purchase? Have you done any upgrades to the lot? Any suggestion or recommendations?

Thanks and have a great day.


November 27, 2021at11:09 am, Tim Goodsell said:

This looks really nice. I’m just curious. Did you receive any type of incentive pricing or discounts from the sellers for promoting their project? There’s nothing wrong if you did. I just think it should be disclosed.


November 27, 2021at11:34 am, Mike Wendland said:

No discount whatsoever… Honestly, such a rude question.


November 27, 2021at10:11 am, Roger Bohnke said:

Congratulations! Having grown up camping in the Smoky Mountains, I completely understand the allure of that beautiful area. We live in Tidewater VA, but have to get our mountain fix out in the crowded Shenandoah National Park campgrounds every so often. You’ve made a wonderful investment and it’s great to see the excitement in your eyes! Always fun watching you as you follow your dreams.


November 27, 2021at9:58 am, Dorothy Van Ness said:

I’m jealous! The property looks beautiful!


November 27, 2021at9:49 am, Matt Asai said:

Living in southern Utah, have you heard of any similar developments in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana? A place like yours out here would be a great place to escape to, to get away from St. George, UT summers.


November 27, 2021at11:36 am, Mike Wendland said:

I have not heard of any there. I heard that the same company we bought from may be doing something like this in Arizona but I have no details. We would like to maybe someday have several spots like this in different parts of the country.


November 27, 2021at4:13 pm, Dixie Lou said:

I wish I could just see another state


November 27, 2021at8:28 am, Thomas Clark, DMD FACD FICD said:

Mike and Jen–You know, I could see the sparkle in your eyes during the video you guys did on this place awhile back, so I am not surprised that you now have a place there. It sounds great! Good luck with the “development” of your lot, and please keep us posted on your progress in this new adventure. Tom Clark


November 27, 2021at9:19 am, Mike Wendland said:

Hey Tom… thanks for the kind words. You’re only a few hours’ drive from the property. Once we get it set up and developed, we’d love to have you join us and camp on it with us!


November 27, 2021at7:44 am, R. Fatimah Jafri said:

Congratulations! I’m so very excited for the two of you. The area is amazing, with the forested area with amenities at the frontage. Looking forward to watching your dream become a reality!


November 27, 2021at8:19 am, Mike Wendland said:

We are really excited about this. It will be a great getaway for us and we can invite others to join us, too.


November 27, 2021at7:27 am, Kay Newton said:

Congratulations! Love your brilliant and creative idea! We to have a Florida home and upon traveling to Florida this sure beats staying overnight in a Cracker Barrell parking lot ! Our permanent home is Indiana winter home Florida. We travel to Harrisville and Oscoda Michigan for summer visits on Lake Huron! Happy for you Both! Thx for sharing all your great info We Enjoy!!
Kay and Steve from Indiana. Would love to stop past for a visit sometime 😎


November 27, 2021at8:19 am, Mike Wendland said:

You will be most welcome, Kay.


November 27, 2021at7:23 am, Bev Parkison said:

Congratulations! It looks like a beautiful place and you will enjoy the solitude and being close to family. Enjoy!


November 27, 2021at8:21 am, Mike Wendland said:

We just love the woods and seclusion. Such a great place to decompress and refresh. The air is so fresh. And there is so much to do in the area.


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