Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saguaro SKP Co-Op in Benson, AZ

Benson, AZ

On Friday we left Yuma and headed east on Interstate 8 moving ever closer to our "wintering over" location.  Because there is still an SKP Co-Op in this part of AZ we decided to investigate.  We jumped on Interstate 10, headed thru Tucson and arrived at the Saguaro SKP Co-Op in Benson, AZ just  after 2 PM.

All guests are escorted to their sites via the office.  This is done for several reasons. First, to aid a guest not familiar with the Co-Op layout and more importantly to make certain that the guest parks in the appropriate spot on the site.

In SKP Co-Ops there are normally two types of sites available to a "non-member" of the Co-Op. Either a regular FHU site or a dry camping site. The latter would normally be used by travelers just wishing to stay for a day or two, or could be used if the leased lots were full.

300 Series Sites
This Co-Op has two additional offerings, however. One section (700s) can be rented for up to 6 months at a time. The lots are unimproved, but have FHUs.  The second offering (300s) can be rented for up to 1 year and have a small shed in addition to FHUs.  Renters on both of these sites can come and go as they please within their period of rental.

All of the roads within the Co-Op are paved, very wide, and in very nice condition.

Another difference in this Co-Op from the ones we've visited thus far are the allowance of "casitas".  These can be up to 288 sq. ft. with an additional 200 sq. ft. under a patio.  The units are allowed to have water, electric, and sewer inside, but residents are not allowed to "live" in these units and there must be an RV on site for living. (This is due to the type of local zoning requirements for the type of park.) 

Some of the casita owners are quite creative with their designs.  There are many different buildings in the park.

Here's a front and rear shot of one of my favorite casitas.  It truly embodies the "look" of the southwest.

The park has a central clubhouse where meetings and activities take place.

Some of the spaces inside include a general meeting and dining area, a room for playing billiards, a puzzle room, a library containing books and videos, and a stage for shows.

The park also has a very nice (and very clean) laundry room.

Also, for those interested in woodworking, a small shop is open to anyone visiting the park.  The maintenance shed has a wealth of tools (rakes, shovels, etc.) which may be used by anyone.  Just sign them out.

Aside from the "improved" lots with casitas already on them, there are a few totally unimproved lots which are still available to those who would like to design and build their own structures.

If not interested in building a casita, you can just build a small shed to store a few items.

I'm spending a bit more blog space on describing and showing different facilities at this park because we're actually thinking about adding our name to the "waiting list" here.  We like the infrastructure of the park, but we really like the friendly people. We met a couple, Betssy and Tom, a few months ago at the Sutherlin, OR SKP Co-Op who told us that they have a leased lot here in Benson and that they would be back for the winter months.  When we checked in on Friday, we were a bit saddened to find out that they weren't here.  Well, guess who showed up on Saturday!  They are  a super nice couple and Betssy was on the "welcome" committee in Sutherlin and the first person we met there.

The Co-Op is at an elevation of approximately 3700' and is cooler in the summers than some of the valley areas nearby.  The views of the surrounding mountain ranges and desert landscape is "growing" on us easterners.

This view of the mountains from inside the park is looking back toward the entrance.

Even the various types of desert plants are beginning to look good to us.

Lastly, here's a picture of the park in relation to the desert and mountains as seen from the area of the water storage tank above and to the rear of the Saguaro Co-Op.

The Saguaro Co-Op is not our place for "wintering over" this year, however. Mainly because we've already made reservations for Nov. 1st thru Feb. 1st, and also because during the winter months the Co-Op will be full with leaseholders and it would be a bit tough to get a FHU site for any length of time. We'll be moving at the end of the week to that location.  Stay tuned!

Thanks again for stopping by to take a look.

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