Here are a few tips to keep in mind, as a host.
When you are sharing your property with others, think about the things that you would typically keep in mind if you were going to have guests over for a barbecue. You are proud of your property and you want folks to feel welcomed. Such things like cleanliness are important. Make sure the overall property is clean and safe. If you host a guest that has children it is essential that the children (who will undoubtedly want to explore) can’t get into anything that might get them into trouble or cause them to get hurt.
Make sure the spot you plan on having your guests use, for their trailer or motorhome, is level and will actually fit the vehicle. Nothing is more frustrating to a guest than showing up at a site and realizing that they may be sleeping on an incline or that their vehicle won’t fit into the space you provided. This should include ensuring that the site has overhead clearance from branches, wires, or structures.
Additionally, provide as much privacy and quiet as possible. Road weary travelers tend to want to collapse into bed after a day of fun and activities. So whatever you can think to do to provide your guests their space will be a welcome respite to them.
Clearly mark the space and know the best way to get into it. You don’t want people driving all over your lawn because they are not sure how you would like them to enter the space. Either provide clear instructions in your property details on the upCLOSE-RV website or be prepared to meet your guests when they arrive.
Guests may also have an additional vehicle with them. Be sure you have planned where they are going to park that vehicle once they have dropped their trailer. This could possibly be street parking, if your community allows. But they will need to know where they will have to park their truck or the “dingy” they are hauling behind their motorhome.
There are things that you can do to encourage guests to use your property. Weekend guests are relatively easy to accommodate since they typically have enough water, electricity, and holding capacity to get through the weekend. But if you plan on catering to the hipster crowd, who are buying the micro and teardrop trailers, realize most won’t come with a toilet or shower. So you need to figure out how you are going address this. Do you have a bathroom that your guests can use? Can they get to it? What happens if you are not there? If you have consistent bookings, it might be worth it to rent a port-o-potty for them. These can typically be rented for about $200 a month (depending on how often it needs to be cleaned).
However, if your guests are staying longer, you need to make sure you are prepared for this. Initially, you probably won’t consider putting in RV hookups since there is some costs associated with doing so. You also need to determine if you can hook into your sewer systems. Some houses have bypasses that make this easy to do, but others are closed systems where it is more difficult.
Water is easiest to hook into. You just need an outside spigot that your guests can hook into (which almost every house has). Guests typically have one potable water hose that they carry with them, however if your spigot is located a distance away you might want to have an extra one handy for them (make sure you put it away after use and flush it before every use).
Electricity is the second easiest item to provide your guests. If your house has an outside outlet you can allow them to hook into this (guests typically have an adapter for this). Just realize that the amperage for these outlets run 15 to 20 amps and a trailer or motorhome draws 30 to 50 amps. This means that your guests may not be able to run their microwave and coffee pot at the same time without popping a breaker. However, for a couple of hundred dollars, you can have a 30 or 50 amp breaker and outlet added to your property. If you do this, you need to consider how far your site is from the house and determine if you want to run an extension cord (less expensive) or place the outlet next to the site (more expensive).
The hardest utility to accommodate is the sewer. This can still be done, but, initially, you probably want to provide directions to the closest dump station which is generally a truck stop or commercial campsite. If you do decide you want to provide dump service for your guests, especially if they are staying a long time, then there are several options.
You may have a pool or may be close to a lake or other shoreline, or maybe you have a fire-pit in your backyard that you will allow your guests to use. You might even have bicycles that they can use. Common sense here are the watchwords. Make sure any bike, kayak, fishing pole etc…are in good working order and the travelers know the rules for use. You don’t want your guests getting frustrated or hurt because of inoperable equipment.
If you have a fire-pit or barbecue make sure your guests know whether they have to provide their own supplies or if you provide them, where those supplies are and any rules for use (don't forget the hoses and fire extinguishers).
If you have a pool make sure your guests know the rules and hours that it is available. Ensure it has appropriate postings like “Use at Own Risk” and “No Lifeguard on Duty.” Also, make sure there is safety equipment immediately at hand just in case.
Also, if you are near any park or site, think about collecting some of the pamphlets and maps for your guests, so they are prepared for any such outing.
If you want to get fancy, think about the bed and breakfast model. If you have a great outdoor ambiance or dining facility, perhaps offer your hosts breakfast so they aren’t saddled with that chore as they try and get out the door to see the local sights. Also, think about other things like wifi and cable. A lot of RVs have a cable input to accept a wired cable. Or if you have a good wifi setup, think about providing your guest with login information so they can get on the internet or watch streaming services. Additionally, think about some staples in case your guests forgot something. These items could be things like groceries (rice, eggs, desserts, soda); soap; razors; access to washer and dryer, etc.
You want your guests to be comfortable. Ensuring that they know the “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Who,” and “How,” is essential when they visit your property. What can and can’t they do? Where are they supposed to go? Who are they supposed to communicate with for routine and emergencies? When can they use the amenities you have provided? How are they supposed to move into the site and use the amenities? Keeping these things in mind will present you as a good host to your guests and will set the stage for an excellent report and maybe a lasting relationship.
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