It's a little bit like camping — on steroids.
Huge homes sit on wheels and stretch at least 30 ft. long.
They are parked on 40 x 120 ft. lots next to casitas, swimming pools and elaborate outdoor barbecue areas with built-in, flat screen TVs.
The lots are surrounded by a two-mile-long lake that residents can navigate by electric boat. There is a nine-hole golf course, three tennis courts, and a restaurant inside of a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Actually, it is less like camping and more like spending your days in a country club. Take away the enormous motor homes — which cost between $150,000 to more than $1 million — that are parked all around the 80-acre site and replace them with condos, and you would have your standard, high-end Coachella Valley community.
Most people who spend the season at Indio's Motorcoach Country Club have the means to live in a huge gated estate, so why do they instead choose to live, at least part of the year, in their vehicles?
"Why would you live in a long tin can," joked longtime Mortorcoach Country Club resident Jan Hagen. "It's the camaraderie, the friendliness of the people, and the activities."
Hagen doesn't just wave to his neighbors when he steps outside to get his mail — he knows them as friends.
"During the season, you're not in your coach very much so you see people and a camaraderie develops," Hagen said. "It makes a big difference … just the nature of living outside."
The Motorcoach Country Club was built on Avenue 48, near Jefferson Street in Indio in 2000. Originally a part of the Outdoor Resorts of America, it has been governed by a Homeowners Association Board of Directors since 2007.
Most of the 400 lots have been developed. Individual land owners have developed their sites by adding casitas with indoor showers, outdoor cooking areas, and swimming pools. Each lot has its own natural gas hookup.
"It's kind of like their winter condo," said Rental Manager Dawn Schultz. "They bring their coach in at the end of October and leave in early or mid May."
Undeveloped lots are for sale starting around $80,000. Lots that have been built out start in the low six figures and go up to $775,000 depending on the size and location of the lot and what has been added to it.
Nightly lot rentals are available, priced between $100 to $200. They can also be rented by the week or by the month.
Motorcoach Country Club sub-leases the sites on behalf of owners who are away, collecting only an administrative fee with the owner retaining the profit. Some land owners use their sites as investment properties. Others spend a few weeks a year, most stay for the season, and a handful are here year 'round.
"It's an interesting community of people from all over the country here," Hagen said. "As gorgeous as it is, really, it's about the people."