Unique Ways to Use Your RV

How Tos & Tips

RVs are a wonderful way to see new places and spend time together as a family! However, as any full-time RVer can tell you, RVs can be used for much more than just a summer road trip or a few weekend getaways each year. Here are some unique ways to use your RV.

Let’s begin with the holidays! A time for food and laughter and family togetherness. But if you’re concerned about having a little too much family togetherness…or you simply don’t know where you’re going to put everyone, consider holiday RV camping.

A family-size RV can be used for driveway camping. Your family will get their own space while also staying close to the action. Another option is to find a nearby RV space for rent and park the motorhome or travel trailer there, putting a bit of distance between the tiny home-on-wheels and your own home.

Either way, your loved ones will be comfortable for the holidays without crowding you and your immediate family.

a family around a picnic table near an RV

Can I Park an RV in My Driveway?

Some of the first questions you will need to ask yourself include, “Can I park an RV on my driveway?” as well as the more specific, “Can you stay in an RV on someone’s property?”

These are excellent questions. Generally, the answer is yes, you can park an RV in your driveway and have family stay there for a week or two. However, some people may come up with different answers depending on where they live. Therefore, you will want to do a bit of research before jumping in.

First, it’s important to know that parking a motorhome in your driveway is frowned upon by many homeowners associations. Not only that but having people camping on your property is actually illegal in some areas. Therefore, it is important that you look into the laws and rules where you live before inviting anyone to use your driveway for their RV.

If you find that parking an RV in your driveway won’t break any rules, then take a look at the driveway in question to make sure a motorhome can actually park there.

For example, a driveway with a steep slope won’t work to park an RV because it’s likely that the bumper will scrape the ground. Besides, leveling an RV on a steep slope is nearly impossible.

Of course, the width and length of the driveway must also be considered. Make sure you’ll have a place to park the trailer or motorhome as well as any other vehicles.

Using or Renting a Driveway vs Choosing an RV Space Rental

If your own driveway won’t work due to size or slope concerns, you could try renting another driveway in your neighborhood. Either way, there are pros and cons to parking an RV in a driveway. For some people, the cons outweigh the pros, leading them to find a more traditional RV space rental.

Here are some of the things you may want to consider when choosing between the two:

  • Having your family on your driveway or in a driveway rental in your neighborhood puts them very close to you. This can be considered either a pro or a con!
  • Using your own driveway costs nothing, and renting a driveway from a friendly neighbor will likely cost very little. Meanwhile, most RV sites for rent in campgrounds will cost more.
  • Unless you (or your neighbor) have special hookups installed, driveway camping means your visitors likely won’t have full use of the amenities offered by an RV. For instance, their water usage will be limited by what the RV tanks can hold. Additionally, they will only be able to use whatever electric appliances can be run off the battery, unless you run a cord to a plug or use a generator. A full-hookup spot in a campground removes this challenge.
a man in an RV in his driveway

Creating Your Own RV Spaces for Rent

Did you do your research and find you can park an RV in your driveway for family to use during the holidays? If so, you might want to rent out your driveway during other times of year too. Not only is this a great way to make some money, but it will also give you the opportunity to meet some really cool people!.

Wondering how to rent your driveway? First, we recommend installing those electric, water, and sewer hookups mentioned above. After that’s done, there are a few ways to go about it.

We recommend listing your driveway on Rover Pass if you plan to rent the space on its own. However, it is also possible to rent your driveway along with an RV right here on RVshare.

Holiday RV Camping

Another unique way to use your RV is to celebrate the holidays right there inside it! Rather than have your friends or family stay in the RV in your driveway, you can host Christmas right in your rig. This is a great choice if you are a full-time RVer, or if you just like to take advantage of the holiday break to pack up the kids and explore.

Make no mistake: celebrating Christmas in an RV or trailer is different than it is in your regular, foundation-built home. For one thing, you won’t have the same amount of space as you would at home. You might have to pare down the Christmas decorations.

Holiday RV decorating

Cutting down on decorations doesn’t mean you can’t make your RV festive! Many campers decorate their rigs for the holidays — yes, including a Christmas tree with icicle lighting.

Of course, it’s not going to be feasible to bring in a full-sized Douglas fir unless you’re traveling in an especially spacious fifth-wheel travel trailer. Even if you do have room, it’s more convenient (and less messy!) to purchase an artificial tree, which doesn’t require watering and won’t leave pine needles all over your floor.

You’ll likely want one that’s smaller than the standard tree, so it’s easier to move around inside your rig. We like this “Feel Real” model by Natural Tree. At four and a half feet tall, it’s just about the perfect size for your RV’s living room, and you’ll still have plenty of room to put up all your ornaments. (Psst: you’ll want to make sure those ornaments are unbreakable, so we suggest buying a shatterproof assortment.)

It’s also pre-lit with white LED lights, so you don’t have to go to the extra trouble of stringing them up yourself.

If you want to save even more space (and money!), you could even consider going for a tabletop tree, like this 22-inch pre-lit version that includes bright red decorative berries. Couldn’t get any easier!

Other easy ways to decorate include battery-operated light strands (which work outside on your patio, too!), or even a simple bowl full of candy canes. When you’re spending the holidays at your favorite destination, it’s not hard to make the interior of your rig match the festive spirit.

A family next to an RV decorated for Christmas

Celebrating Christmas in an RV

So, now that decorations are taken care of, let’s talk about the really important stuff: food!

How on earth are you going to prepare a proper Christmas dinner in an RV, you may be wondering?

Well, for many campers, having a full-on, working kitchen is one of the most attractive parts of RVing! You’re certainly not going to have to make do with cold cuts and rice cakes.

Many RV kitchens include everything you need to get the whole meal made, from a stovetop range to an oven. Of course, the facilities may be a little smaller than the standard size, so you might have to get creative when it comes to timing everything. You could also downgrade to a slightly smaller roast, whether it’s turkey or beef.

But if you can’t stand the idea of cutting a single corner of your holiday spread, there are other options. For instance, imagine a Christmas dinner of steaks on the grill — doesn’t sound like much of a compromise, right?

Most RV parks have grills available to use. If not, purchasing a small, portable grill isn’t very expensive, and it will be useful all year long! You can find ones that work off small gas tanks (like this one, by Char-Broil), or good old charcoal (like Weber’s “Smokey Joe”). Neither type will set you back more than $40.

Finally, if you’re concerned that your oven won’t be able to churn out the assortment of breads, cakes, cookies, and pies the holidays are so famous for, consider investing in an Instant Pot — which, yes, you can actually bake in! (Many RVers consider their Instant Pot their very best kitchen purchase, whether or not they’re planning on making a holiday dinner.)

Spending the Holidays in RV Parks

Now that we’ve got all the logistics squared away, you’re ready to head off on your dreamy Christmas vacation, right?

Well, you might be wondering about Christmas RV park rates. Will they be more expensive during the holidays?

Although the answer to that question will vary depending on your destination, winter is generally not as much of a high-demand travel season. Many locations will actually feature lower prices in winter than they would in the warm months of summer. You’ll also save 50% on your campsite fees at almost 1900 campgrounds nationwide when you use your Passport America membership. With an annual fee of less than $50, the membership usually pays for itself the very first time you use it!

Mom, dad, and two children play corn hole/bag toss outside their parked Class C RV.

Planning a Family Reunion

Another unique way to use your RV and bring family together is by planning a family reunion! Whether you drive to the reunion in your rig, or plan a reunion somewhere everyone will be camping, you’re sure to create some lifelong memories.

Once you figure out the perfect time to hold the reunion, there are still a lot of logistics! From planning meals to suggesting activities, you’ll be responsible for making sure everyone’s in agreement.

One of the touchiest parts of planning a family reunion can be deciding where to have it. After all, no matter which of the many family reunion locations you’re considering, it’s likely that some family members will have to travel further than others. That’s why one of our favorite ideas is to hold your family reunion at a vacation destination where everyone has to travel!

Places for Family Reunions

RV camping can be a great way to hold a family reunion, and campgrounds make for some of the best family reunion venues out there. Here’s why.

When you travel by RV, getting there is half the fun. No need to hear the repetitive chorus of “Are we there yet?” when you’re road tripping in a motorhome. After all, you’ve brought all the comforts of home along with you!

An RV reunion means everyone gets to have some privacy. Sure, it’s great to reconnect with loved ones from years and years ago. But after a long day of walking down memory lane, it can be comforting to have your own space to retreat.

If each smaller family group within your large party has their own RV or camper, you can caravan together and enjoy being together in your joint outdoor space. You can also still have the luxury of private sleeping quarters. And don’t worry, it’s totally possible to feed and entertain a large group from a tiny RV kitchen!

Family-friendly campgrounds are some of the best family reunion destinations. If some people want to go out hiking or kayaking while others want to hang out with family and a cold drink, you can accommodate them all! Campgrounds ensure that there’s something to do for everyone.

Large Vacation Rentals for Family Reunions

Finding a large RV rental for your upcoming family reunion doesn’t have to be a drag. At RVshare, RVs of all different shapes, sizes, and makes are listed for rent across the country. You’ll even find big, Class A diesel pushers and fifth-wheel travel trailers that can sleep 8 passengers or more.

RVing can be a fun and unique way to create a family reunion that everyone in the group will always remember. In fact, you may end up enjoying it so much you make it into a more regular event, like an annual family camping trip!

How to travel safely

If you’re traveling during the colder months, or going to see large groups of people, you may be concerned about illness. Although Covid concerns have lessened from a few years ago, no one wants to spend the holidays sick! Here are a few things you can do to keep healthy and travel safely.

1.) Keep it clean

Make sure to clean and disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched in your RV every day. Those include door handles, countertops, light switches, tables, faucets, toilets, and phones. Don’t forget the steering wheel, radio dial, and door handles up front!

2.) Keep yourself clean

Make sure to wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time. Keep hand sanitizer near the entrance to your RV for visitors, and bring a small bottle if you go on day trips. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, not your hand. Avoid other people if you – or they – are feeling sick.

3.) Make reservations ahead of time

Depending on where you’re visiting, you may need to stay at a nearby campground. Check ahead to make sure that they’re open and make reservations so you know you have a spot when you arrive!

4.) Have a backup plan

Consider the possibility that even with your best efforts, either the family you’re visiting or someone in your group could get sick. Have a backup plan in case your trip is cut short due to illness, or in case your trip needs to be extended due to an illness that keeps you from traveling home on schedule. Bring your health insurance cards and any other pertinent information in case of an urgent care or ER visit. Finally, know what needs to be done and how to find medical help if someone in your group does get sick.

A Class A motorhome parked with a sunset behind

Tips for Entertaining in your RV

If throwing lavish dinners and get-togethers is your idea of a perfect weekend activity, the RV lifestyle might seem a little daunting at first. After all, even a large rig can be pretty snug for just two people or a small family. How are you supposed to host a party in such a small space?

But whether it’s a holiday bash, a birthday, or a just-because shindig, entertaining in small spaces is actually totally doable. In fact, RVing can make your small space party even more fun and exciting than it would be otherwise. It just takes a little bit of planning and a few creative ideas.

Here are our favorite tips and tricks for throwing a killer party in your RV or trailer.

Small Space Entertaining

Freaking out about how you’ll fit your huge group of friends and family into your small camper?

Don’t start scratching your loved ones’ names off the guest list quite yet. Here are some simple ideas for entertaining in a small space.

1. Do as much as you can ahead of time.

This is good advice, even if you’re throwing a party in a mansion. I mean, who wants to spend their party time busily cooking or crafting?

But if you’re already dealing with limited space, it becomes even more imperative that you’re not using some of it to prepare food or party favors while the soiree’s underway. You need that space to fit more people!

Make sure you have everything set to go before the first guest arrives, so you can use your whole RV as party space — including the kitchen.

2. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture.

If your dinette doesn’t seat more than four, it might be more of a drawback than a benefit for your party. So if it’s got mobile chairs, consider grabbing them and moving them outside — that way, everyone indoors will have more room to move around without bumping into each other.

Don’t forget about your RV’s cockpit chairs, too; in many models, they swivel, which can create additional comfortable seating!

How to Arrange a Small Living Room

Sure, your rig might have a small living room… but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great big bash. In fact, with an RV, this problem might be even easier to mitigate.

3. Don’t forget: The outdoors is your living room, too!

Here’s one of the reasons RVing is actually great for small-space entertainment: your outdoor living space totally counts!

In fact, it’s kind of the best part. I mean, that’s where the campfire is, so you know that’s where it’s lit. (Get it?)

Make your outdoor party zone as comfortable as possible by camping in areas with firepits and picnic tables, and add in some extra outdoor furniture like folding camp chairs. Heck, with proper ground covering and towels, guests can even lounge on the ground, essentially making your party space unlimited.

a Class A motorhome set up for camping

Entertainment Area Design

Outdoor entertaining is a great hack when you’re trying to throw a big party in a small space — but there are a few things to consider if you want to do it properly.

4. Be strategic about when you plan your party.

Your outdoor entertainment area won’t be very popular if you’re throwing your party in Nebraska in the dead of winter.

So be strategic about when (and where) you plan your party. Make sure you’re in a place and season that’s temperate — that way, you’ll be able to make the most use of your outdoor space, and you’ll also avoid having to figure out where to put everyone’s heavy winter coats!

Seating for Small Spaces

One of the most challenging parts of entertaining in an RV is trying to ensure that everyone has a place to sit. Even when you factor in outdoor furniture, it’s hard to have enough surface area for everyone to rest at the same time.

But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Here are a few tips to help you deal with the limited seating issue.

5. Keep it circulating.

Whether engaging in planned activities or just keeping conversation circles flowing, making sure the party participants don’t just sit in one spot all night will help keep limited seating arrangements fair. As some folks get up, others can sit down — and everyone will experience more of the party (and each other)!

6. Have finger food.

A standing dinner reception is a whole lot easier if you’re serving chips and hummus than if you’re eating a full-on turkey dinner.

Not only does finger food allow guests to circulate with plate in hand comfortably… but it also saves you a ton of preparation and cleanup time! So it pays to think strategically when you’re planning your party’s menu.

7. Caravan.

Want to know how to instantly extend your RV’s living space?

Add another rig!

Your neighbor would probably love to get in on your party, so get together with the other people around you and see if you can make it into a multi-camper bash. That way, you’ll have that much more space to work with — and that many new friends to add to the party roster!

These are just a few of our favorite small space entertaining ideas, but we’d love to hear about your go-to tricks for campground parties. After all, RVers know that big fun can come in pretty small packages, and everything’s better when you share it with a friend… or five.

Just make sure you have enough s’mores supplies for everybody!