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The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your RV Into a Cozy Guest House

The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your RV Into a Cozy Guest House

If you’re expecting overnight guests, you’re probably wondering where to put them. After all, you want your friends and family to feel comfortable when they visit you. However, if you don’t live in a mansion, you might consider using your RV as a guest house. 

With the right amenities and decor, an RV can transform into a comfortable and charming home away from home. Whether you have a spare RV in your driveway or are considering investing in one for this purpose, this guide will walk you through the process of turning your RV into a welcoming oasis for your guests. 

Should You Transform Your RV Into a Guest House? 

Before diving into the journey of converting your RV into a guest house, it’s wise to consider whether this option suits your needs and preferences. There are several advantages to choosing an RV as your guest accommodation. It’s relatively cost-effective if you already own an RV, and it’s significantly cheaper than constructing another house on your property. Moreover, RVs are versatile. You can use it for personal travel when your guests aren’t visiting, and you can take your RV with you if you move.

We have long been fans of using our own RV as a guest house when visiting friends and family because we end up having our own space. One of the most exhausting things about staying with someone is constantly being in another person’s space. By having a separate guest house, your visitors have a quiet getaway to relax and you as the host get a little break. It’s a win-win.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to weigh these advantages against potential downsides. If you have a smaller RV, your guests might have limited space. Depending on the weather, your guests also must go in and out a lot, and some RVs are not as accessible as others. You’ll also have to deal with maintenance requirements and zoning regulations in your area. For instance, some HOAs won’t let you park an RV in your driveway long-term. Always check local regulations and consult with a professional if necessary.

If you’re considering using your RV as a guest house in the winter, check out the following video for tips on how to keep your visitors warm and comfortable.

The Best RV Winter Setup: How to RV in Winter and the Gear That Will Keep You Cozy Warm!

Pro Tip: Do some research to find out how much others are renting their RVs for to get an idea of how much you could charge to rent your RV guest house.

What Type of RV Works Best as a Guest House?

Any RV can work as guest accommodation. However, some RVs are a little more comfortable than others, and you’ll want to make sure your guests are up for it. It’s one thing to have them stay in a 45′ motorhome, another to have them climb in and out of a small teardrop trailer.

The ideal RV will have a bed, bathroom, and a small living space for them to relax and recharge. If they have a functioning and stocked kitchen, that is a bonus so they don’t have to rely on their hosts for every meal during the visit.

Fifth wheels and class A motorhomes are typically the most spacious and luxurious RVs. They have layouts that provide the feel of a home, and you can even use some in cold weather. Travel trailers can also be quite comfortable, and with the right length and layout, they can feel just as roomy. 

There are also Class Bs, Class Cs, and truck campers, but we don’t recommend purchasing one of these styles to use solely as a guest house. They have smaller living spaces due to the front cab, and typically fewer amenities. However, if you already have one of these smaller motorhomes, you can still use it as a guest house. Still, you may want to prepare your guests for a smaller living experience before they arrive. 

If you’re using your RV as a guest house or Airbnb, consider adding some extra touches to make the space cozy. You can browse other listings on Airbnb for some helpful tips.

Can an RV Be Used as an Airbnb? 

If you’re thinking about turning your RV into a guest house, you might also wonder whether you could list it on Airbnb for some extra income. The answer is yes, but there are some important considerations to remember. First, be sure to check your local zoning regulations and homeowner association rules to ensure that they allow short-term rentals like Airbnb in your area.

Furthermore, double-check that your RV meets safety standards and has the necessary amenities. Remember, the people staying in your RV Airbnb will be strangers, and they might be more picky than your friends and family. 

Lastly, consider the extra work that comes with listing your RV as an Airbnb. You’ll need to make the space appealing and possibly update the decor to provide a unique experience for your guests. You’ll also need to take high-quality photos and do some research to price your Airbnb competitively based on location and amenities. Perhaps most crucially, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll enjoy interacting with guests. Whether you greet them in person or opt for a self-check-in process, you’ll still need to communicate through the Airbnb app and clean up after each guest. These are all vital factors to consider when deciding whether you should use your RV as an Airbnb.  

How to Transform Your RV into a Home Your Guests Will Love

Once you’ve decided to turn your RV into a guest house, it’s time to make it as inviting as possible. Follow these steps to create a cozy space that your guests will love.

Ensure Your RV has Electricity, Water, and Sewer Access

Before your RV can serve as a guest house, it needs essential utilities like electricity, water, and sewer connections. If you don’t already have these hookups on your property, you might want to consider hiring a professional to install a 30- or 50-amp electrical outlet and a sewer connection.

You can always use your holding tanks and off-grid forms of electricity, but these may be an additional learning curve for your guests. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide based on what kind of RV experience your guests have. 

Make sure your guests have electric and other amenities they may require for their stay.

Check All Safety Systems 

Safety should be a top priority when hosting guests in your RV. Before they arrive, inspect all safety systems, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, propane detectors, and fire extinguishers. Ensure that all gas appliances are in good working condition and that the RV has proper ventilation. RV fires can be especially dangerous due to the proximity to fuel and appliances, making this step even more crucial when using your RV as a guest house. 

Clean Your RV Thoroughly

Think about the type of place you’d want to stay on a trip. What are your top priorities? Surely cleanliness is one of them, and your guests are no different. A clean and well-maintained RV is essential for a positive guest experience. Make sure to thoroughly clean all surfaces, including floors, countertops, and bathroom fixtures. Pay attention to hidden areas where dust and dirt can accumulate. If you’re not in the mood to do the elbow work, you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service to ensure your RV sparkles.

Restock Amenities 

To help your guests feel at home in your guest house, stock your RV with essential amenities. Include items like cookware, dishes, utensils, and glassware in the kitchen area. Provide a small selection of pantry staples, like coffee, tea, and condiments. Don’t forget to offer cleaning supplies, like dish soap and trash bags. Provide anything that you would need to live and feel comfortable in your RV. 

coffee pot and mug in rv
Consider all the things you would want in a guest house, including propane in the RV, a tea pot, coffee mugs, etc.

Provide Fresh Towels and Linens 

Fresh towels and linens are a must for any guest accommodation. We recommend making up the beds with clean sheets, pillows, and blankets before your guests arrive. Ensuring they look made and welcoming will let your guests know that you changed the sheets just for them. 

Additionally, provide plenty of clean towels and washcloths and ensure that the bathroom has essentials like toilet paper, shampoo, and soap.

Provide a Guide for Switches, Buttons, and Toilet 

RVs can be confusing, especially for people who don’t use them often. Even if your guests are experienced RVers, they may not understand the controls, switches, and buttons in your RV. Because of this, we recommend creating a simple guide that explains how to operate these features. This includes heating and cooling systems, holding tank sensors, lighting, and the toilet. This will help your guests feel more comfortable during their stay.

Suggested Reading: Learn about our experience renting a camper van in Hawaii.

Transform Your RV Into a Cozy Oasis for Your Guests

To truly make your RV guest house stand out, focus on creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Some other tips that might help you achieve this include placing fresh flowers in the kitchen, providing cozy throw blankets and pillows, and offering entertainment like streaming services or board games. Personal touches like a small gift or a welcome note are wonderful ways to make your guests feel comfortable. 

By following these steps and adding your unique touches, you can transform your RV into a cozy guest house that will leave your guests with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or renting it out on Airbnb, your RV can become a charming and inviting retreat for all who visit.

Would you turn your RV into a guest house? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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