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Caretaker Gazette, an unusual bimonthly national newsletter, matches owners of vacant property with people – RVers among them – to provide various levels of care and maintenance in exchange for free lodging.
“All the opportunities offered by Caretaker Gazette have to have free housing, and about half of them come with some kind of compensation,” said Gary Dunn, president of Caretake Publishing Inc., River Falls, Wis.
The publication has about 10,000 subscribers, including more than 1,000 RVers, according to Dunn.
“What we hear from a lot of RVers is that they are full-timers who haven’t lived in a home for while,” Dunn said. “They tell us they wouldn’t mind putting their rigs in the driveway and house-sitting for a while.”
The Gazette also takes employment ads for campgrounds and RV parks, so long as free housing is provided.
Dunn, a former employee of a New York City municipal fund company, founded Caretaker Gazette in 1983. “We saw a need to help vacant property owners and house sitters to find one another,” Dunn said. “Prior to Caretaker Gazette, the only place for people to find each other was in the classified sections of local newspapers.”
Subscriptions to Caretaker Gazette are $29 a year for six bimonthly issues, each of which carries more than 1,000 adds. Ads can be placed online at www.caretaker.org, where Dunn also publishes helpful tips and feature stories about home-sitting. The listings themselves, however, are available only in the newsletter. “There is no typical ad,” Dunn said. “They might be a very simple house-sitting situation while someone is traveling to Europe, or it might be someone who has inherited property, and they would rather have someone sit in the home and take care of it.”
Direct contact information is included in each ad.