Garland and wreaths on front of RV


Tips for Turning Your RV into a Holiday Guest House

Put your RV to good use this holiday season by inviting your loved ones to stop and stay for a while in your RV Holiday Guest House.

Using your RV as a guest house can be a practical and versatile way to accommodate visitors and provide an extra living space on your property. This can be especially beneficial during the busy holiday season when you’re looking to host family and friends for festive get-togethers, but also want to save your space – and your sanity – for yourself.

Rather than letting your rig sit empty this winter, why not share it with the people you hold most dear? With just a little planning and prep work, you can transform your RV into the ultimate holiday hideaway.

5 Things to Consider Before Using Your RV as a Guesthouse

Using your RV as a guest house can be an excellent way to provide comfortable accommodations for visitors while making the most of your existing property. But before you send out the invites, here are some things to consider first:

  1. Ensure the Space is Suitable for Guests: Take a thorough look at your rig with your friends and families in mind. Ensure that it’s clean, in working order, free from leaks, and has comfortable enough sleeping space for everyone, including young visitors.
  2. Keep the Rig Level and Easy to Access: Parking your RV for storage is different from parking it for active use. Be sure the location where you plan to park is permitted by local codes and select a spot that’s level and free from tripping hazards to allow your guests easy access in and out of the rig.
  3. Be Winter Weather Prepared: If temperatures are likely to dip below freezing, ensure your rig has been prepped for winter weather and offer your guests extra blankets and space heaters. Fill up your propane tanks to help keep everyone warm on a cold winter’s night.
  4. Establish Expectations for RV Use: Will your guests be using the bathroom in the rig, or coming into the house when nature calls? Can they cook in the RV? Shower? Think about how you want your visitors to use this space and express any restrictions in advance.
  5. Make a Plan for Electric and Water Hookups: Your guests will need some basics, so make sure you can safely plug your rig into your home’s power supply. Water is also a “must,” so check that you have enough hose to hook the RV up to your house spigot.

Prepare Your Space

Once your rig is parked and hooked up, it’s time to prepare for your visitors.

Much like packing for your own RV trips, you’ll need to clean your space and equip it with all the essentials, including:

  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Towels/linens
  • Toiletries
  • Snack and drinks
  • Cookware, plates, drinkware, and utensils
  • Hangars
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Trash cans

Be sure to perform a safety check and ensure the fire extinguishers are in good order. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check for leaks and check the roof to look for any spots that may need to be sealed prior to your guests’ arrival.

Test your RV’s temperature controls, stove, and water supply, working your way through your normal RV setup checklist to be sure nothing is overlooked.

Deck the RV Guesthouse Halls

Once these basics are taken care of, it’s time to really help your guests feel at home for the holidays. Create a welcoming atmosphere by adding personal touches like holiday cookies or a small welcome basket.

To enhance the seasonal spirit, you may also want to decorate the RV for the holidays. Add a small tree, string up festive lights, hang a wreath, and add any festive flair you’d like to help your space achieve the ultimate cozy cabin feel.

Whenever possible, add labels to your cabinets to help guide your guests on where to find what they need.

Teach Your Guests How to Use the RV

Whether your visitors are experienced campers or completely new to RVing, you’ll need to set aside time upon their arrival to walk them through the ins and outs of everything they need to know about this space. Teach them how to use the toilet, shower, TVs, heater, and even the refrigerator. If necessary, show them how to check tank levels to avoid overfilling, and provide Wi-Fi codes and cable access details.

If you’re planning to host guests in your RV in the future it might be helpful to create a written instruction manual that you can share with visitors, especially those not familiar with RVing. And, if your visitors will be in town awhile, create a list with information about the local area, including nearby attractions, dining options, and emergency contact numbers.

Once you’ve hosted guests for the first time, you may not want to stop! Having friends and family stop by for RV stays is a great way to spend more time with the ones you love while offering them their own space. Not only will it save them money on their vacation, but it will also allow you to get even more use out of your RV investment, making this a winning proposition for everyone.

Amanda Adler

Writer, RVer

Amanda Adler is a writer and RV enthusiast based in Orlando, Florida. She’s road tripped through 47 states thus far on her quest to explore national parks, theme parks, kid- and dog-friendly hiking trails, and quirky local haunts.