Darla Preston is a writer and traveler with a home base in the colorful state of Colorado. She enjoys writing travel advice for her fellow wanderers, but her favorite way to spend the day is on the road with her husband and dogs.
Tasty food and drinks, groovy tunes, and good friends are a few of the things that make life truly precious, especially when the three are combined into a memorable get-together. Creating a fun environment for other people to relax and enjoy themselves is truly rewarding, but no matter how natural of an entertainer you are, hosting a gathering in your RV might be a little intimidating.
While it’s easy to squeeze a couple of friends over for dinner to dine at your dinette, things get a little trickier when a larger crowd of people are involved. That being said, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and hosting a party while being a full-time RVer isn’t actually that complicated.
To help you out, here are a few ideas that will simplify your party-planning efforts:
Success Is in the Preparation
Because your RV offers limited space, it’s important to think things through ahead of time. Trying to wing it at the last moment will lead to loose ends and stressful moments, so take the time to craft each detail thoughtfully.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- How many people are coming? Do you need to account for any possible “plus ones”?
- Do you have enough space to host the party where your RV currently sits, or should you move it somewhere else for the day, such as to an RV park where you can reserve a more spacious campsite (or two)?
- What is the guest policy for the campground? You don’t want your fun day ruined because you forgot to check the rules.
- Is there any information your guests should know ahead of time, such as where to park or whether or not a day-use fee is involved?
- How much food and how many drinks do you need so that everyone has a healthy supply? How will you lay out all of the food and beverages? Remember to keep food safety tips in mind.
- Aside from drinks and treats, what items do you need for everyone to be comfortable? For example, if you are in an area where mosquitoes are an issue or the sun is intense, have a community supply of bug spray and sunscreen.
- Can you make any of the food the evening before? The more that you can do ahead of time, the more streamlined your event will be.
- Where will you store any leftovers? Clean your fridge ahead of time so that you’re not panicking when trying to store all of the remaining goodies.
- How will you play/setup the music? Don’t let technical difficulties spoil the fun; work out the kinks the day before.
- What will people do for fun? Decide if it’s simply going to be a social gathering where everyone mingles, or if you want it to be more activity-based, research some fun group games to try out.
- What is the weather supposed to be like? If you’re inviting a solid amount of guests, you’ll more than likely be utilizing your outdoor space just as much or more than the inside of your RV. Research the weather ahead of time to try and circumvent any strong wind or rain storms.
- Would renting a room be a better choice? If the weather is bad or you’re trying to host an event during the colder seasons, many RV parks allow you to rent space at their clubhouses, and some don’t even charge extra for it (though a cleaning fee may be involved).
Keep It Simple
Don’t make things harder for yourself than you have to. When it comes to food, finger foods, such as dips, homemade corn dog bites, bruschetta, skewers, etc., work wonders, especially when you consider the fact that you’re not going to have a giant dining room table for everyone to sit down and eat at.
You can even craft a potluck style gathering so that everyone brings a treat. Guests can also take their containers home with them at the end of the event so that you’re not stuck trying to cram leftovers into limited space. If you’re looking for a way to keep drinks cool, simply clean out your sink and fill it with ice and supplement with coolers.
When it comes to decorating, keep it minimal. While placing string lights and other small festive adornments will make your space more eye-catching, too many decorations will only take up limited indoor space. If you’re someone who really wants to go all out with the elaborate embellishments, consider putting more of your energy into decorating outside of your RV, as there is more abundant room.
Create a Fun and Practical Outdoor Social Area Outside Your RV
Any RVer knows that the outside of their RV can perfectly function as a comfortable living room, and if there is a fire pit, it can also serve as a secondary kitchen. Since the inside of your RV will get quite stuffy when it’s overcrowded, you and your guests will fare much better if you take the time to create an enjoyable outdoor social area.
You probably have a few nice pieces of patio furniture to stick under your RV awning or around a campfire, but seeing as storage is limited in your motorhome, you most likely don’t have a plethora of extra seats lying around.
If you’re worried about how to make sure everyone is comfortable, here are a few tips to help you out:
- First, see how many seats you do have. If the number is less than the number of guests, send out a mass text message or email asking guests to bring their own camp chairs. It’s an easy request, and nearly everyone has a fold-up chair they can throw in their car. Even better, most camp chairs come with their own drink holders, so you won’t need to worry about creating additional table structures.
- If guests do arrive and you’re a couple of seats short, get out a few blankets that someone can sit on; problem solved.
- If you don’t have a folding table to use, chances are a friend has one you can borrow. Ask them to arrive an hour early to help you set up.
- Rent or borrow a tent canopy to create a larger gathering space.
- Invest in an RV awning room. They are designed to attach to your awning, creating an enclosed space that functions as a room. They can expand your living space greatly and can function perfectly as an additional serving station for drinks and food. Because they zip up, you can significantly minimize pesky bugs or wind-blown debris getting into your refreshments.
Hopefully these tips help demonstrate that entertaining a crowd while living the RV lifestyle is more than possible. If you take the time to prepare efficiently and use your resources to your advantage, you should have no problem showing your guests and yourself a night to remember.