Recreation vehicles, whether motorized or towed, are highly versatile. Owners utilize them not just for vacation or travel, many people have transformed RVs into office spaces or even into extra guest quarters at home or at a family cottage.

Since a high percentage of Michigan RVers are weekenders or vacationers – compared to seasonal or full-time RVers – the RV can go unused for extended periods of time during the season. Wouldn’t you like to make use of it more, even if it can’t be by you? Turning your RV into a guest house might be just the thing.


What type of RV works best for being a “guest house”?

A lot of people don’t mind “roughing it,” but a more spacious RV with contained amenities would work the best. We’re talking fifth-wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, and Class A motorhomes. You can use the RV you own, or you can purchase a used RV and have it be used exclusively for visitors. Plus, kids love camping so it can make a great spot for older kids to hang out during the day and sleep in at night, and since they tend to go to sleep later than adults, they get to have a little fun, too.


What amenities should I have?

The same ones you would expect and depend on if you were camping in it yourself, including electricity, running water, a private bathroom, and fresh linens on all the beds plus extra stored. Provide guests with clean towels, too – and don’t forget a laundry basket for them to toss in their dirty linens. Include toilet paper and paper towels, plus stock the medicine cabinet with basic need-to-haves such as pain medication and band-aids. Add some books, games, movies, or toys for guests to enjoy while they are in the RV.


How should I prepare my RV for guests?

First, clean the RV inside and out, as you would prior to the camping season or before putting the RV into storage. Wipe down all surfaces, sweep and clean the floors, check that the water is running and that the electricity is working, open the windows to air the place out. Check that the fridge and air conditioning and furnace are all operating appropriately.

Stock the fridge and cupboards with some favorite beverages or snacks that you know your guests will like. Have a coffee pot ready on the counter and a fresh can of grounds.

A guesthouse is a little different than camping. Add homey touches such as cozy throws, pillows, and a vase of flowers.


What should I do when my guests arrive?

You should give a complete tour of the RV. Show them how to operate lights, toilets, air conditioning, and heat. Share any “tricky” information about the RV, such as if a door handle sticks or a particular window tends to jam. Go through the RV systems and let your guests know which appliances can be used at what times. Show them how to reset the circuit breaker, too. Since electricity is on limited supply in an RV, visitors who have never RVed before might need a little education.


The key is to try to think of what will make your guests feel welcome and comfortable. Anticipate their needs and go the extra mile to show how much you care they are visiting you. Let your guests know that they can come in the house anytime. Leave the front door unlocked and the porch light on. Include a flashlight in a cabinet in case they need extra light for walking across the lawn. You can still spend plenty of time together whenever you want, but the privacy and extra space an RV provides for you and your guests will be much appreciated.