RV interior


Tips for Using Your RV as an Office or for Guests

Check out these tips from Jeremy Puglisi on how to incorporate an office or guest space into your RV!

My wife and I bought our first RV 12 years ago with the sole intention of using it for weekend trips and weeklong vacations with our young sons. That first RV was a pop-up camper and we used it extensively and loved every second of it. It was a perfect purchase for us for weekend trips and family vacations. But along the way we also realized that RV’s are very useful for other things too.

We often used the pop-up camper as a quiet place to work on weekends when we were home--and we also used it for sleeping quarters for visiting friends and family. Over the last 12 years we have purchased several other RV’s as our family grew--and we continued to use those RV’s as offices and for guests. We have always felt like we were getting extra value out of our RV purchases by using them in these ways.

We currently use our Grand Design Imagine 2800BH as an office when we are not on vacation--and it works perfectly for us in this context. The RV allows for a quiet and comfortable workspace that is just steps away from our house--but still gives us a sense of separation from our home life. We also deal with far fewer interruptions from our kids when we are working in the RV.

Our current RV also works perfectly as a guest house. In fact, when I tell our friends or family members that they will be staying in the RV they always smile from ear to ear.  Our guests get their own beds and we set the RV up so they have their own kitchen, bathroom, and television during their stay. Everyone gets the benefit of having more private space when friends and family stay in the RV. We love having guests come visit us--but we all know that things can get tense when too many people are staying in the same space at the same time.

If you are considering using your RV as an office or for guests here are some quick tips for success. We love our RV so much--and we love it even more so because we are getting so much use out of it as an office and as a cozy and comfortable place for our guests.


Tips for Using Your RV as an Office

  • Take a Minimalist Approach: When it comes to using our RV as an office, we try to take a minimalist approach and keep things simple. We do not want our files and office equipment to take over our RV and make it hard to transform back into a recreational vehicle for camping trips. We keep most of our files in the basement and we also keep our printer and other equipment (that is not used on a daily basis) in the house.
  • Pick a Comfortable Sitting Area with Outside Views: We love that our RV has lots of windows and natural light. Many of our past basement offices have not had windows or lovely views. We set up a workstation at our dinette table that is right next to large windows that can easily be opened for fresh air. We have found that our booth dinette is very comfortable--even after hours of work. If it wasn’t we would not hesitate to purchase a comfortable office chair and keep it in our RV.
  • Keep Things Neat and TidyA messy office environment is never good for productivity or creativity--but we find it is even more problematic for an RV office. This is because you have to clean up all of the office mess before every single RV trip. Having to pack up a lot of office equipment before vacation is not much fun. So, at the end of each work day in the RV we pay more attention to quickly tidying up than we would in a regular office.
  • Have a Dedicated Place to Store Office Gear When TravelingIt also really helps to have a dedicated storage space for our office gear so we can quickly pack it all up before a trip. This way our minimalist office is also readily available if we need to do some work at the campground.

  • Take Advantage of Your Refrigerator, Coffee Machine, and PantryAnother thing we love about using our RV as an office is that we can utilize its refrigerator, its 110 outlets for coffee and tea, and its pantry for quick snack breaks during the workday. Our RV has everything we need to function for an entire workday so we don’t need to walk back and forth to the house all day for food or drinks, or to use the bathroom.
  • Decide If and How You Will Use the Bathroom: We do use the bathroom and sinks in our RV during our office work hours. Obviously, this requires some tank management. We camp regularly enough that we can simply dump the tanks on those camping trips. We also know other RV owners that have sewer hookups at home--which certainly makes things easier.

Tips for Using Your RV for Guests

  • Consider Adding Outdoor 30- or 50-Amp Electrical Hookups to Your HomeWhen we bought our current home one of the first things, we did was to have a licensed electrician install a 30 amp hookup for our RV. This was a total game changer for us. Now we have constant and reliable power in our RV for our guests and for our office.
  • Store Away Personal Items Before Guests ArriveBefore guests arrive make sure that you store away any personal items and make sure your guests have room for theirs. We make sure our drawers don’t have any clothes left in them from previous trips, and we remove our toiletries to make room for theirs.
  • Make Your Guests' Stay Special with Snacks, Drinks and WineIf you want to make your guests feel extra special, then take advantage of your RV’s full kitchen and stock up the fridge with special drinks and snacks that they will enjoy. Our Grand Design Imagine 2800BH has a drawer with wine storage in it. We often leave a few bottles of wine in there as welcome gifts for our guests--which is always appreciated.
  • Give Guests a Quick Walk Through When They Arrive: Please remember that many of your guests may not have stayed in an RV before--so give them a quick walk through when they arrive. Show them how to turn on the heat or AC depending on the weather and show them how to use the bathroom and how to turn all of the lights on and off. This will only take a few minutes, but it will keep your guests from having to text you for help over and over again during their stay.
  • Make Sure Your Heat and A/C are Ready to Go: If the weather is chilly make sure that your propane tanks are full and that your guests know how to turn the heat on. If it is hot out, make sure that your RV is plugged in to 30 amp power so your guests can use the AC. If your RV is not plugged into an appropriate power source, then please make sure that your guests know that the AC cannot be used.
  • Think Through How the Bathroom and Shower Will Be UsedWhen guests are staying in your RV you need to think through how the bathroom and shower will be used--especially if your RV is not hooked up to sewer. We allow guests to use the bathroom and the sinks for washing up and bruising teeth--but we do ask them to shower in our house so that the tanks won’t fill up too quickly during their stay.

Jeremy Puglisi is the host of the RV Atlas podcast and the co-author of the bestselling books Where Should We Camp Next?, Where Should We Camp Next? National Parks and Where Should We Camp Next? Camping 101. His next book, Where Should We Camp Next? Budget Camping will be published by Sourcebooks in April of 2024. All of the Where Should We Camp Next? books are available online and in bookstores across the country.

Jeremy Puglisi

Author and co-host of the RV Atlas podcast

Jeremy Puglisi is the co-host of the RV Atlas podcast and the co-author of See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors, and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accommodations. He loves nothing more than hitching up and heading out to the next campground with his family.