RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Home Stay’s

My last RAGBRAI was 2010; Time flies!! At that time we could arrange home stay’s; There were web pages dedicated to arranging, and it was a fantastic experience!! I don’t see anything on the site, will it show up in January or are home stay’s no longer part of RAGBRAI? Thanks!

31 Replies

garywilk, November 10, 2022 at 12:20 pm

It will likely be much later and likely each overnight town with have their page to get specific home stays or special camping or parking spots.


Uncle Kraig, November 10, 2022 at 3:15 pm

Typically, in years past, the host homes application is not available until May 1. In the past, if you tried to reach out prior to that, you were eliminated from consideration. That being said, it probably wont be till April or May most likely and you will need your registration wristband number to apply. This past year many overnight towns just did it via a FB page which seemed to work too. And you are right, it is a fantastic way to do RAGBRAI. I have done it many times and had some tremendous experiences and great hosts! Good luck, see you in July!


Satman, November 14, 2022 at 7:14 am



jball4682, November 17, 2022 at 3:45 pm

RAGBRAI first timer question.

How difficult and or time consuming will it be to arrange home stays for the entire week for two first-timers, one from CA and one from MN? Home stays are our preference so we meet the locals.

This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by jball4682.


Uncle Kraig, November 18, 2022 at 10:57 am

jball – It’s not terribly time consuming or difficult. You simply have to apply in each town via their FB page or website or whatever tool they use for host home registration. While it is not difficult, you may not find a match in every town. Be prepared for that. If we happen to stay in any larger towns (ie Des Moines, Ames, Iowa City, etc you may be able to get a hotel room as well) Good luck. You should join the FB group/page RAGBRAI Newbies. There is tons of good info for new folks and it is a great place to ask questions like this. See you in July!


LawnchairMan, November 20, 2022 at 11:37 am

Just a word of caution: be careful what you put on Facebook. Looking for housing in Iowa could let people know that you will be away from home for several days. That just awakens me to the fact that I shouldn’t announce my Ragbrai plans on this forum either. i will limit my info on all postings from now on.


sandyrobinson57, January 28, 2023 at 11:16 pm

New to the forum and RAGBRAI. My buddy and I plan to sign up for the ride. We have hotel rooms but may try to change a few to home stays. Is there a method to have our luggage transferred from one hotel to the next. I did not see any in charter descrip[tions. Signed up for the newbie FB page but am awaiting approval. Thanks.


HelenP, January 29, 2023 at 6:19 am

Sandy, that’s the big issue with hotels: luggage transfers. Note that local transport like taxis or busses may not even exist in the smaller towns.

Typically, RAGBRAI provides a free but limited shuttle bus to the entertainment / food area in the larger cities, which might be near hotels, but check the hours.

You might have to manually lug your bags back to camp at a very early hour, to get them on one of the baggage trucks.

As an example, at Waterloo, I left most of our gear in main camp with a friend, and I took the free shuttle to the hotel. My team mate rode her bike to the hotel directly from the bike route. In the morning, very early, she had to bike back to camp, because the shuttle didn’t run then, and put our bags on the baggage truck.

Meanwhile, another friend with a vehicle took my folding bike to the next town. I headed off to the bus station to go back and retrieve my car — I’d had to wait 3 days until we got to an overnight place big enough to have a bus connection.


Denton Kernodle, January 29, 2023 at 3:41 pm

A comment about Home Stays and Hotels; The best part of RAGBRAI, apart from the bike riding itself, is the convivence of everything. There is always plenty of food at various locations, the water stands are handy, and the bike shops are frequent. If you use the campground system, it too is very connivant. You pack your tent in a bag, get up in the morning and pack up, throw it on the transport truck and ride all day without a thought until you get to the overnight town. As you enter the town you see a sign directing you to your campground. After finding the campground, and that is easy…just follow the crowd, you locate you bag, set up your tent and shower. If you wish you can take a bus to the activities and supper. After going back to the campground, you go to sleep, get up in the morning and repeat.

If in Home or Hotel, then as you enter town you have to fine the location, ride to the activities and supper, or rely on the home host to provide. If you want to go to all of the activities, then you have to try find those.

Also, a big part of RAGBRAI is being with all of the other riders, yes, all 15000 of them. Homes and Hotels run up you cost and make everything much more complicated.

If you want to stay in other’s home or a hotel, why don’t you just stay home, call Aunt Mildred who lives about 100 miles away, ride over to see her, then get up the next morning and ride home.

RAGBRAI is designed as a camping experience. Why make things complicated?


Niles, January 29, 2023 at 5:51 pm

I have to agree with you reasoning about staying with Ragbrai site or staying with your aunt.
Unless you have your own driver, your team transportation. Otherwise, why do you want to handle all the hassles of staying off-site? If you have special needs, you want to make sure those are feasible in the constraints.


sandyrobinson57, January 29, 2023 at 10:05 pm

Thank you HelenP – that was helpful!


HelenP, January 30, 2023 at 5:25 am

:-) at Sandy!
Something else to be aware of: there’s usually little or no food at the main camp, and it takes time to shuttle into town, so you might want to eat your main meal during the day, before returning to camp, if you do camp. Some charters have drinks & light food, others may have vendors or even full meals. Everyone talks about all the food at RAGBRAI, but main camp is a hungry place.


jelly0317, January 30, 2023 at 9:53 am

I disagree with your assertion that there is “little or no food at the main camp”. The two most likely main campground locations are at the high school or fairgrounds. The high school cafeteria will usually serve dinner, typically spaghetti, and the fairgrounds will usually have a 4H or Cattlemen’s stand. You won’t have a varied menu, but you won’t go hungry, either.


steve zink, January 30, 2023 at 11:07 am

The savvy ragbrai Rider buys food at Hyvee and carries it in panniers… The savvy Rag Rider rarely stands in a food line… The savvy Rag Rider rarely pitches a tent unless absolutely necessary.. something better usually always comes along but then don’t have to take down and stow a wet tent in the morning ..The savvy rag rider finds the 4 ” stripe on the right side of the road and the wheel never leaves it except to pass ( short distance between two points).. and the list goes on


jelly0317, January 30, 2023 at 11:14 am

After 38 RAGBRAIs, I’m not sure what “something better usually always comes along” means, but I guess I’m not “savvy” enough.


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