Being a Host

All questions about being a host are answered here.

So, will I let just anyone park on my property?

No. As a host, you'll have total say over who you accept and when. You can restrict available dates on a calendar but you're never obligated to accept requests. At Boondockers Welcome, you are in control.

You can also restrict guests any way you want in the "House Rules" you create that all guests must comply with to send a request. For instance: No smokers, no alcohol, no children, no full-timers planning to work from their RV. Even if you don't want to accept a certain race, religion, or gender - we'd rather you stipulate it in your house rules. Guests don't want to show up where they're not welcome.

Each request has a link to the profile of the potential guest. You can read any references from previous hosts before responding. Feel free to decline a request without stating a reason. If you're a small business owner offering overnight parking, you'll have one up on Walmart; they have no way to screen RVers who park overnight.

Messages between hosts and guests that are sent through the site are secure and private. Don't hesitate to ask for more information before accepting. You might even want to speak by phone before agreeing to the visit.

Once you formally accept a request through the web site, we'll pass your contact information, address, and directions to the guest. At the same time, we provide you with the guest's full name and phone number.

You can cancel a scheduled visit any time from your account dashboard. If it's near their expected arrival time, you should of course phone them as well.

How much can I charge per night?

Boondockers Welcome hosts are not permitted to charge guests for parking at all. If you're looking for a source of income, this web site is NOT the place. If you offer electric or other hookups and the guest chooses to use them, then you may request compensation, but only a modest amount to cover your cost. (Generally $3 to $5 maximum per night is more than enough but you can double that if they run their AC or heat.)

Please consider stating the amount you'd like if a guest uses hookups in the House Rules section of your profile. Guests are required to agree to your house rules before they can send you a request.

As a host, how do I earn and redeem guest privileges to use on my own travels?
After an arranged stay, we ask guests to confirm that the visit took place. We then credit the host's account with 3 months of free guest privileges. To check your balance, view the subscription details page, accessible from the account details link on the left side of the user dashboard .You can activate your guest subscription credits (three months at a time) whenever you choose. Save them up until a time when you are ready to travel. If you have not had the opportunity to host yet, you can purchase an annual guest membership at half-price if you offer a host location.
What if guests show up with a larger RV or ignore the restrictions I posted ?

Traveling members will be warned if they try to request a stay with a host whose profile has a maximum RV length that won't fit it. Other key points of the guest and hosts profiles are matched up as well when they try to send a request Eg: If you stipulate no slide-outs and their RV has one, they must confirm they want to go ahead with the request, thereby agreeing that they will not extend their slides.

You should put any special requests and restrictions that aren't listed elsewhere in your House Rules. Guests must also agree to abide by those before they can send a request.

If you do encounter a situation or a member who is obviously rude, negligent, or doesn't follow the common courtesy rules we stipulate for guests, please contact us. We take all complaints seriously and will cancel their privileges, if necessary. Our policy is: first complaint, we'll make a note; second complaint, issue a warning; and third complaint, revoke guest privileges.

How often do I have to offer parking to qualify for host membership?

As long as you actually have a parking space available some of the time, even if it's limited to a small class B (camper van) or truck camper, there's no requirement to host more frequently than is convenient for you. One year, you may be able to welcome guests several months in a row and, the next year, you may be travelling yourself and unavailable for an extended period.

By listing unavailable dates on your host dashboard, you won't receive requests for those dates.

I'd love to host other RVers but my neighbors may object to someone "living" in my driveway.

If you're concerned about the neighbors, be sure to limit the number of times you host and the length of each stay. You can restrict dates and provide house rules that guests will have to agree to in order to send you a request. You can stipulate no use of awnings, slide-outs, barbecues, lawn chairs or generators. In your house rules you can make further requests such as music and lights to be turned off at certain times.

Neighbors who don't RV may not understand the RV culture. You can decide whether to tell them about Boondockers Welcome or not. Telling them you met through an RV club you're both members of would not be a lie. There's no cost to join as a host so there's nothing to lose if you change your mind. You can cancel your listing at any time.

Can I choose who I prefer to host?

The intent of the web site is to introduce you to other RVers with similar interests. It's totally up to you who you wish to host. When you get a request, click through to view the member's profile and decide if they meet your criteria.

You will set maximum RV size, number of nights, whether you welcome pets and other restrictions when you create your profile. You can add other house rules, too (like no smoking, pets must be on leash, etc.) Guests are reminded of your restrictions and house rules and must agree to them in order to send you a request. Update your rules and change your permissions and restrictions as often as you wish.

Isn't it a security risk to have my host location listed online?

All host locations shown are generalized to a random location within a few miles of the actual address. No exact addresses or directions are exposed. These are shared with a guest only after the host has accepted their stay request through the web site. Real names and phone numbers are also shared between the host and guest at that time, providing increased transparency and security.

Profiles are public and can be viewed by anyone online. Hosts should avoid including a description, directions, address, or photos on their profile that would make their exact location obvious.

I live in a tourist area. I'd like to host a few times a year, but I'm afraid I'll be inundated with too many requests.

Hosts are able to block off dates on their host dashboard. Whenever you feel your quota is reached for a while, just mark off the next few weeks as unavailable. Guests won't be able to request those dates. You can update your calendar any time. Consider also adding a note on your host profile to say why you're limiting requests. If you're upfront about it in your profile, members will understand your dilemma and feel lucky and extremely grateful if you accept them.

I won't be able to reply to requests for a few months. How can I ensure it won't affect my response rate?

You can block the dates on your availability calendar and no one will be able to send you a request for any of those dates. But they can still contact you to request dates for after you're back so we suggest you set a block including an extra week after you plan to be back and then take a second step.

Edit Your Host Location (linked from the User Dashboard) for both steps. To block the dates (plus a week), scroll to the last item (Availability) and click the blue edit button. Fill in the dates you want to block.

On the same page, edit the Request Preferences section to allow folks to request a stay a maximum of only one week in advance. Now the soonest anyone can send you a request is when you're back home. You can return to change that setting back to your previous maximum afterwards. You can also change your blocked dates any time you want.

As a host, am I expected to socialize? I work long hours and don't always have time.

The bare minimum that guests require is a free place to park for at least one night. RVers are used to being self-sufficient. So if you can explain through your messages exactly where they should park and you're comfortable with it, they could arrive late and leave in the morning without ever meeting in person.

On the other hand, many hosts enjoy the social aspect and offer more - share a meal, tour of the area, etc. What you do for one guest, you don't have to do for all. Your guests may prefer to do things on their own or they may be on a schedule. Don't be afraid to state your preference. Most guests will take their cue from the host.

Am I liable if someone falls or hurts themselves on my property? What if they sue me?

Liability is a local issue. Depending on the state or country where you live, as a property owner, you may be liable if someone gets hurt or suffers damage of any kind while on your property - period, no matter who it is or the reason they are there. A property owner is always open for civil suits by both invited or non-invited parties. Even posting a "no trespassing" sign won't necessarily protect you if an intruder is hurt or his property is damaged. Most home insurance policies, however, include a clause to cover you for this.

How do I edit, change, or update the information guests see about my host location ?

Login and find Your Host Locations on your User Dashboard (a few lines below your avatar photo) and click the orange edit button. On the next page, click the blue edit button beside the sections that you want to change. Click Save and Exit when you're done.