RV-Home Exchange!

Outback Camping

by Chris and Hannah of Love, Play, Work

You could be forgiven for expecting a home exchange to involve swapping your home for, well, someone else’s home. But as we recently discovered on our trip to Australia, home exchange can come in unexpected shapes and sizes!

As we continue on our Round the World in Home Exchange adventure (16 consecutive exchanges across 5 countries and still going strong!) we are delighted by the new experiences home exchanging delivers on almost a daily basis. So when we were offered a two week non-simultaneous exchange, our apartment in a UK coastal town for a luxury Mercedes 6-berth motorhome, we jumped at the chance.

Figuring out how it all works

I confess, we were a little daunted when we arrived at the rendezvous point and set eyes on the beast which was to be our home for the next two weeks. It came with a comprehensive instruction manual and the owner gave us a very good introduction. Still, there is a lot to remember: switches to be flicked, hoses coiled, storage units secured… Luckily we had a ‘before take-off’ checklist to make sure we would depart safely from every stop. As we pulled away, curtains swinging from side to side and crockery rattling in the cupboards, it felt like a whole new sort of adventure.

Big enough to work from

The trip

We began by heading to a coastal campsite in Queensland where we could walk to local restaurants, watch the sun set over the peninsula, and ease ourselves into life on the road. From there we went a little more ‘wild’ with a pitch next to the ocean in a spectacular national park opposite Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. We glimpsed dolphins swim by at sunset watched 4-wheel-drive vehicles power up and down the long sandy beaches. We were careful to stick to the tracks ourselves; getting a tow out of a sandy bunker in an RV would not be fun!

Happy camper

From the coast, we decided to explore inland towards the Outback. The scenery changed dramatically and we found a dusty campground next to one of the few lakes in the area. We were concerned the steep track down to the lake would present a challenge, but RVs are more resilient than you might think! We ended our journey with a campsite in Byron Bay, an area with a wide range of organic eateries, live music, and boutique shops. While not as rustic as our other stops, tapas overlooking the bustling and colourful boulevard was a great way to end this part of the trip.

Great indoor/outdoor living

Top tips to getting the most out of your RV exchange

  1. Make a note on your profile if you are particularly open to this sort of exchange to make it easy for motor-home owners to find you!
  2. Exchange plenty of communications prior to the exchange to make sure all insurance issues have been dealt with.
  3. When planning your trip, don’t over-commit in an attempt to see as much as possible. You will never have time to cover everything you wanted to explore. Sometimes the best moments are when you kick back and give yourself permission not to cram everything in.
  4. Plan your route, but be prepared to go ‘off plan’ on occasion; that can be where you find some of the best gems and nice surprises.
  5. Check out the national and regional parks in addition to standard camp grounds as these can provide some of the most spectacular scenery and are usually much less expensive than privately owned sites.
  6. Plan to stop at a private camp ground every few days. If you have water and electricity in your motor home you will need to replenish tanks and recharge batteries and these sites allow you to do this. It can also be a wonderful luxury to have a proper shower!
  7. Make sure you are fully stocked up on all the essentials before you reach an isolated camping site. When you have found your perfect spot, unwound your awning, hooked up the BBQ, set out the garden furniture, and cracked open a beer you don’t want to suddenly remember you need milk for the morning!

 


About the author

We are Psychologist Hannah and IT expert Chris and we’ve spent 5 years traveling the world whilst running our own business. Home exchanging has been a big part of making that happen! You can learn the 7 refreshing ‘get there quick’ shortcuts to creating your own location independent lifestyle from our loveplaywork.com homepage. You can also follow us on Twitter for updates.


18 Comments on “RV-Home Exchange!

  1. Very Interesting. I hadnt ever considered an exchange to a RV. I guess you need to work from home to make that work.

  2. Looking for a RV/Arizona vacation home exchange for summer 2014. Minimum of 2 weeks, possible 3 weeks to tour the southwestern/northwestern nation parks.
    Thanks,
    Clyde

  3. We like the idea of a swap! We have lived in a home in Germany (45 min. from France) for the last 7 years we also have a caravan that we use during the summers. The idea of swapping our home in Germany for a camper to travel the east coast of the US for a month sounds very appealing. Does anyone have any ideas or if this already exists?
    F & M

  4. So how did you work this all out?

    Sorry, I keep skimming the page and site and don’t see how you set up this exchange. We are very interested in doing a house (we live in the Indian Ocean) and RV (in the States) exchange. Can only find house for house exchange sites.

    Any info would be great! Thanks

    • Hi Stefanie! You can use the keyword search on HomeExchange.com to look for houseboats, RVs, treehouses, and more. You can also search by “Home Type and Size.” You can try this link for more information and always feel free to ask one of our Live Chat agents for help.

  5. Hello, We are a family of 4 needing to get out of AZ for a while due to my kids allergies. We are looking for a diesel RV to trade for our 3800 Sq Ft. Home in a resort setting with 2 lakes and a residents club. We have two golf clubs close by as well. We are flexible and will be homeschooling so we can do this anytime.
    Thanks
    Jerry

  6. My family are he.com members and have wondered about the insurance aspect of having an RV exchange. Do you simply discuss it with the RV owner’s insurance company or do you go out and get it for yourself? If any advice can be offered we may not be the only ones you help with this.

    Thanks,

    Charlie

    • Hi Mark, I live in Kinvara Galway and have the same idea for a home/RV swap in California/San Fran area. Appreciate any info you pick up?
      Regards, barry

  7. Hi Guy’s
    I had this idea as well. The nice man on Live Chat did a search and couldn’t find any RV’s available for exchange in the US, never mind someone looking for a house in Ireland willing to exchange an RV. I’ll keep looking. I’ll contact some of the clubs, you never know.

  8. I wonder if you have any suggestions about finding a home exchange on a boat. I’d like to stay on a boat moured in a harbour like Monte Carlos but have yet to see any other interest.. This would be a non-exchange visit as I don’t have a boat to offer. I do have a house however.
    Can you email me your response as I don’t visit this site frequently. Marni in Ontario Canada

  9. Has anyone considered a house exchange on Norfolk Island, South Pacific, for a camper van in Ireland that will fit a family of 4?

    • Maybe! Check it out on HomeExchange.com > Serach Page. I suggest you to filter by Keyword. You can also send inquiries directly to the Members living in Ireland.

  10. We have a beautiful home in upcountry Maui, have done exchanges on homeexchange.com (#108435). We would now like to find a RV in the Pacific Northwest and exchange for our home in Kula in July/August 2017. I tried looking on homeexchange for this possibility but they said they do not have any RV’s in the Pacific Northwest. Then I ran into your blog so decided to throw this out there!!

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