Does RCI Have Houseboats?

If you have ever used a timeshare then you have likely heard of RCI. It is one of the main exchange companies that you can use to swap your vacation time from one resort to another. 

Being that you have found our site and this question interests you then it’s likely that you love houseboats and have some time with RCI or you are simply curious. Either way we will try to answer whether RCI has houseboats or not. 

Surprisingly RCI does actually have houseboats that will allow you to explore some popular water destinations in the USA. Some of the more popular places where you can get a houseboat through RCI are: 

  1. Crater Lake
  2. Caddo Lake
  3. Lake Chelan
  4. Lake Tahoe
  5. Lake George
  6. Lake Michigan
  7. Lake Powell

These are only few of the many beautiful places you can easily escape to with a houseboat using the RCI exchange. There are many other places as well that are less popular and RCI could certainly add more locations in the future. 

One huge downside to RCI in general is often the places that you swap your time for are not as nice as the timeshare that you originally bought in to. The same is true when getting a houseboat through RCI as you can sometimes get one that simply isn’t well maintained. 

I recently took a trip to Las Vegas and we used RCI to get a two bedroom condo near the strip. All the pictures looked amazing but when we got there the actual room was a different story. The jacuzzi tub in the room and the dryer didn’t work at all! There were only 2 forks… total in the entire condo! 

When you rent a houseboat through RCI you might face similar issues of problem after problem and being on the water in a houseboat would compound them even more. This is why it is important when you get a houseboat through RCI that you carefully look at all of the things that the place and houseboat have to offer to try and make as wise of a decision as possible. 

In the rest of this article we will talk about some of the great things you will get when renting a houseboat through RCI and then in the section afterwards we will discuss some specific things you should look for when renting a houseboat through RCI. 

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Great things about renting houseboats from RCI

When you look at houseboats that are available through RCI there are a ton of great things about renting them. Just a few of those things are: 

Amazing designs

If you are a person with a creative eye, you will likely love the most recent versions of houseboats. A houseboat in its most basic form is also among the most creative things ever made by mankind. 

A house that floats on water? Who could have thought about that? However, jokes apart, the newer versions of houseboats are even more creative and come equipped with the most cutting edge equipment and state of the art technology. 

The best houseboats will indeed give you a once in a lifetime experience you cannot miss.

The views

We all can agree that every place has its own unique beauty. Even the busiest cities look beautiful to someone who wants to see the beauty in it. However, the hustle and bustle of the city life can sometimes get very tiring. If you too are tired of the cacophony, steal some peaceful moments by climbing on board a houseboat. 

Houseboats can provide you with some of the most beautiful views you would have ever witnessed in your life.

When getting a houseboat through RCI it isn’t like having a hotel “on the water” either. you can literally move the houseboat anywhere on the lake you choose (assuming it’s allowed there) and have all of the peace and quiet that you want or be as loud as you want as well!


We all know how stress has badly affected our lives. In a fight to bring back a little peace in their lives, many people are taking a step back from their hectic lives and trying to blend in with nature. Water is known to have many therapeutic properties so sleeping right on top of it or fishing right when you get up just feels right! 

Even the most experienced therapists are of the opinion that being near water greatly reduces stress and brings in a sense of peace. If you are someone who just needs a break from the stress of this high paced life, you should certainly consider renting a houseboat for your next vacation instead of having a stressful getaway at an amusement park.


Believe it or not, getting a houseboat through RCI is often quite affordable. Many people don’t want to sleep on a boat or are afraid of seasickness so you can often find that you can get a houseboat for about the same “weeks” as you can get a 1 bedroom condo for. 

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Of course this varies but rarely are houseboats through RCI more expensive than a comparable sized condo. This could certainly change in the future as more people try and get farther away from everyone else but for now it holds true in most locations. 

Things to look for when renting a houseboat through RCI

Before you decide whether to even book a houseboat through RCI there are some important things that you should consider. Each of these are important but some are more important to some people than others. 

You should decide what is the most important to you and your family when you go on vacation and then make sure that the houseboat you get through RCI meets all of those requirements. 

Brand and age

The brand and age are the  first factors that you should consider when deciding on a houseboat. The best brands will make sure you get the best quality houseboats which is obviously something you would prefer when staying on one for your vacation. 

Of course if the houseboat that RCI has is a good brand but it is 50 years old then that likely won’t turn out very good for you. 

The age of the houseboat is important and it’s super simple to find out ahead of time. You should especially be wary of houseboats that are 20-30 years old and haven’t been updated as those will still probably work but won’t be very nice or comfortable for your vacation. 


Another important factor to consider is the actual size of the houseboat. Just because RCI says that it is designed for a certain number of people doesn’t mean it will comfortably sleep that many! Ideally you will want to know how large the actual boat is as you can then go online and find the specs for that boat size to see if it will really fit you and your family or friends. 

There is nothing that puts a damper on a vacation as quickly as having to sleep and live on top of each other! 

What’s included

The next thing that you should consider is what is offered either with the houseboat or through the place you are renting it from. Some houseboat rental companies will take the houseboat off and put it back on the dock for free while others leave you completely on your own. 

You should also see if the boat comes with water toys, games, fishing poles, etc. or if you have to bring your own. The cost and effort to pack all of those sorts of things can be substantial so having them already on board is helpful. 

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Another thing to find out is if fuel is included with your rental. In most places it won’t be but if a certain location includes a tank of fuel it might be worth your while to get that place through RCI instead. 

Things to do 

The last thing I will mention that you should look for when renting a houseboat from RCI is what things there are to do in the area. If you are wanting to get entirely off the grid and do nothing your entire vacation then you won’t need to worry about this but many people want to go places at least a few times. 

Some lakes that are great for houseboats are pretty far away from civilization and you might not be close to grocery stores, restaurants, or anything to do besides things on the water. 

If you like to get out and try new things or have kids that do then you will only want to rent a houseboat that is near some things to do that everyone will like. 

These are only a few things that should be kept in mind when getting a houseboat through RCI but honestly the list to consider could be incredibly long since everyone is different.

It is always important to know exactly what you want to get out of your houseboat vacation as by figuring that out you can then decide what you want or need in a houseboat or location. 


At the end of the day, it can be said that if you decide to get a houseboat from RCI, it will certainly be beneficial to you. Houseboats can travel for short distances and are perfect for a family day on the lake or river or could even work well for a multiple week vacation if there are enough things around it to do! 

Renting a houseboat is certainly not something that is for everyone but if you enjoy peace and quiet and off grid living for a few days then it could definitely be for you! 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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