Most RV Owners Simply Don’t Know Where to Start
We can’t think of buzzwords more buzzing than “side hustle” these days! The good news for RV owners everywhere is that they have a money-making side hustle in their garage. If you’re an RV owner, don’t sleep on the opportunity of renting out your RV when you’re not using it. It’s time to cash in!
So we’ve put together a list of 10 simple tricks and tips to help you get started, stand out from other rentals, and make the most money possible.
Use a Peer-to-Peer Rental Site
When renting out your RV, you can do your own marketing, scheduling, and bookkeeping. Or you could save yourself the hassle by using one (or all) of the many peer-to-peer RV rental sites out there.
Options like Outdoorsy, RVshare, and RVezy will help you set up your profile and rent out your RV. Plus, they offer insurance and roadside assistance for renters.
While these sites offer a lot to people who want to rent their RV, they are businesses and, therefore, take a commission. This rate is typically between 20 and 25%, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind and marketing they offer.
Choose the Season Wisely for renting out your RV
Not surprisingly, there are certain times of the year when RVs are more in demand, which means more bookings and higher potential rates. The best time to rent out your RV is the summer, followed by fall and spring. Your location will also affect the most profitable times of the year.
If you’re looking to make the most extra money, it’s important to rent out your rig as much as possible during the peak months, as you may not get many rentals during the winter.
Open as Much Availability as Possible
On top of having availability at the right time of year, you’ll make the most money renting out your RV when you have your RV available for as many dates as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use your camper for personal use, but planning ahead is key.
Try to plan your RV trips as far ahead as possible so you can keep your rig available for renters for the rest of the year. The more it’s available, the more chances you have to make money. Plus, you improve the chances of long-term rentals being booked.
Make A Stand Out Profile
Unfortunately, you won’t be the first person in your area to decide to rent out their RV. That means it’s essential that you create a profile that really stands out from the crowd. Highlight the features that make your RV unique and offer plenty of details for potential renters.
While your description is important, most of us are visual shoppers. Therefore, the pictures you take of your camper must be eye-catching. That doesn’t mean you need to shell out big money for a professional photographer, but you should put some effort into taking quality photos. With pictures, the more, the merrier!
Make sure to take photos with good lighting, both of the interior and exterior. The inside should be clean and staged to look ready for campers. Try finding a nice backdrop for the exterior pictures so renters can visualize what a vacation in your RV would look like.
Price Your Rig Using Comps
When it comes down to it, many potential renters will make their decision based on pricing. The key to finding the right listing price for your RV is to research the competition. Look at the website you’ll be hosting your RV through and see what similar rigs are going for. Find ones that are similar in age, size, and condition.
Once you’ve checked out the pricing for comparable RVs, you’ll have a good starting price point. From there, you can decide if you want to be a bit higher or lower than the competition. If you’re offering free extras, the higher price might be worth it to some renters. However, most will go for the cheaper option.
Just make sure that you’re priced high enough to make some money – that’s the whole point of renting out your RV!
Upgrade Your RV to be Extra Photogenic
Everyone loves an epic Instagram picture while they’re traveling these days. If you can decorate your RV in a way that will inspire some awe-inspiring camping photos, people are more likely to choose your rental.
There are plenty of unique ways to make your camper shine above the rest. Think of funky curtains, a bright breakfast nook, a unique paint job, or even a vintage-inspired decoration style.
Offer Extras to Bring in More Money
People don’t want to go through the trouble of renting an RV, picking it up, and then remembering to bring a bunch of essentials. So your RV rental should include the necessities like towels, sheets, blankets, and kitchenware.
But you can take things a step further and have optional additions that you can charge for. Consider camping chairs, an RV patio mat, outdoor stoves, stand-up paddle boards, coolers, tents – you name it.
Some owners will also limit daily mileage, or you can offer an unlimited mileage option for a fee.
Realize It Takes Work to be Profitable
We definitely wouldn’t call renting out your RV 100% passive income. There are some things you must do to manage your RV rentals, and understanding that upfront will make the process much easier for you.
For starters, being available for communication with renters throughout the entire process is critical. They often don’t have much experience with RVs and may have many questions upfront.
You’ll have to meet up with potential renters to deliver and pick up the RV when it comes time for their vacation. They may have further questions during their rental, which you should respond to in a timely manner. Once your renters return your rig, you’ll need to get it cleaned and reset for the next rental.
Consider Allowing Pets
Dogs and cats are considered part of the family these days, so many potential renters want to bring their furry friends along for the trip. Often, RV owners don’t allow pets for fear of damage or extra cleaning. This gives you a chance to set yourself apart and attract a bigger pool of renters.
If you’re concerned, you can always charge an extra cleaning fee or pet deposit. You could also provide furniture covers or pet wipes to help renters keep your RV clean.
Expand Your Fleet
Once you’ve had success renting out one RV and learned the tricks of the trade, why not expand your fleet? You can create an entire small business by acquiring different types of RVs and offering them at various price points. Once you get the hang of managing your rental, adding another won’t be that much extra work.
The key to expanding your business is to plan, just like any small business. Consider what your expenses will be compared to your potential income. With the proper planning, marketing, and customer communication, you could have an entire fleet of RV rentals up and running before you know it.
Are You Ready to Start Renting out Your RV?
Hopefully, with these 10 tips and tricks, you’ll be earning a profit renting out your RV in no time. RV rentals are on the rise and are a popular way for people to experience the joy of camping and RVing without committing to an RV purchase.
Jennifer lives with her husband in a 29′ trailer in Mexico. She is one half of DashboardDrifters.com and the founder of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full-time RVers. Jennifer Jennings has been RVing for 2+ years and writing about the RV and Van Life for 2+ years. Jennifer specializes in topics such as Lifestyle, van life, campgrounds features, destination features, and product lists.