Make Money By Renting Out Your RV
Many folks don’t RV full time so their RV is not in use all of the time. I see RVs in my own neighborhood that sit unused all summer long. So, if you don’t use your RV all the time why not rent it out and make some money to help cover the costs of the RV?
RV’s rent for hundreds of dollars a week in most cases and that extra cash can cover your payments, insurance, and even provide a positive cash flow.
Can I Rent Out My RV?
To get right to the point – yes, you certainly can. A more logical question may be – Do I want to rent out my RV? Rest assured, many RVers have become “roaming landlords” and decided it was the right move for them.
Weighing the pros and cons of sharing your RV with others will require careful deliberation. Some benefits and potential drawbacks are listed here as “food for thought.”
Make Extra Cash – The money made subsidizes the costs of a loan payment, maintenance, needed upgrades or repairs.
Avoid Storage Fees – If your RV is sitting for months on end in storage, you’ll avoid those costs.
Share the Lifestyle – You’ll meet some great folks along the way who are excited to learn if the RV lifestyle is right for them. Introducing others to the tranquility and solitude of nature and awesome vacation memories is rewarding.
Use a Rental Service – Use a website that rents RVs to help list your RV, as well as, provide you tips on insurance, required deposits, walk-throughs, and delivery options. This will provide you comfort and ease with the rental process.
Wear and Tear – A potential drawback is the fact that others will be living in your RV and adding miles to the odometer and/or tires.
Moving Your Stuff – Everything of a personal nature should be removed from the RV before its rental. Things like food and toiletries should be removed. Many people who rent their RVs leave appliances, dishes, silverware, chairs, etc. and include them in the rental price or they charge for the extras.
Stress and Anxiety – Knowing your RV may incur damage or be in an accident, is naturally worrisome. The knowledge that you have the insurance to make repairs provides relief and peace of mind. Some rental companies do background checks on the renters to make sure you aren’t renting to a reckless driver.
Running a Business – There will be a learning curve as with any start-up business. You’ll need to keep organized records and have time to email with prospective renters. Call other renters on the RV Rental websites and ask them questions to lessen the learning curve.
When is the Best Time to Rent My RV?
The best time to rent your RV depends on your schedule. The spring, summer, and fall are the best times to rent your RV but you can also rent it over the winter months to snowbirds heading south for the winter when you probably aren’t even using your RV.
But other factors also dictate when might be the best time to rent our RV. When you purchased your RV, perhaps you decided to travel exclusively for a few years and now you are ready for a break from the road. However, you’re not ready to give up on that RV lifestyle quite yet.
Others sadly find themselves with health issues that must take a forefront to RV travels, at least for the short-term. Some RVers are first time parents or grandparents. Family commitments can prohibit getting out in the RV as much as initially planned. So, you may find yourself able to rent during peak season for top dollar.
Depending on your lifestyle, many decide to rent their RV only during holidays, such as Spring Break, Thanksgiving or Christmas. This allows the RVer to spend time with their family while making extra money to offset future travel expenses.
Health issues do arise. Almost everyone has been there. Foremost, be pro-active, and take good care of yourself. Renting out your RV during times you are unable to be on the road, can be productive in relieving you of external stresses that can arise from additional expenses during this particular time.
Many full-time RV for years, and never look back. For others, there are times when the family needs us, commitments arise, or a needed break from life on the road crosses your mind. Renting out your RV can make perfect sense rather than having it sit idly, only to incur potential leaks or maintenance issues from inactivity.
Remember, you set the time frame on just how often you are willing to rent out your RV. It doesn’t mean 365 days a year, nor is it forever.
How to Rent Out My RV
First things first, if you’ve done any research on this topic, it may at first sound like a nail-biting proposition. It’s like being a landlord, but your home is constantly on the move. Not everyone is up for the job. Others see this as a handy way to make some income. One couple we know decided to purchase a second RV solely as a rental – it was a win/win for them! We are considering that option ourselves.
More people than ever are renting RVs to go camping. It used to be that retirees would RV around the country but now remote workers known as digital nomads are enjoying the RV lifestyle. The point is that the RV lifestyle is incredibly popular right now and renting your RV has never been easier or more profitable.
With that said, two companies stand front and center in the world of RV rentals today. RVshare.com and Outdoorsy.com. These two companies help thousands of individuals rent their RV’s every year. They have made the process easy and safe.
RVshare.com claims to be the first and world’s largest RV rental marketplace helping owners connect with renters. The website is free. RV owners can register and set up an ad with photos to rent out their RV. Each owner decides and makes their own rental policies. For example, they can rent to smokers or non-smokers, or be pet-friendly (or no pets), and decide the number of people to occupy the RV.
RVshare provides damage insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance ensuring you and your renters are satisfied. The insurance can be paid for by building it into the rent or deducting the coverage fee from the renter’s security deposit.
How does RVshare make its money? It doesn’t cost anything to place an ad on RVshare. This allows you to run an ad for as long as you like. Once the RV is rented, RVshare takes approximately 15% of the rental fee. RV owners can adjust their rental fees accordingly and also view similar rentals on the site to stay competitive on their own rental prices.
Outdoorsy.com touts being the largest RV rental marketplace, as well as, the most trusted. This website is also free. Their website is quite extensive and appears to cover all the bases with a full page of FAQs you can check out for a more detailed explanation.
Transactions made through Outdoorsy qualify for 24/7 roadside assistance, a $1M liability policy and up to $500K comprehensive and collision insurance. All potential drivers of the RV must pass a DMV check completed by Outdoorsy. The RV owner is responsible for its vehicle passing an inspection of the tires, brakes, LP, and gas within 90 days of a departure.
Outdoorsy collects 20% of the rental fee as a service charge. An explanation of the fee is found on the reservation page for each booking. The RV owner always has the final say as to who will rent their RV. Your policy and/or restrictions should be included on the booking page.
Outdoorsy has recently started using Facebook Marketplace as a platform to increase rental prospects for RV owners. It requires no additional effort on the Owner’s part. However, the Owner can opt out of this service by emailing Outdoorsy and asking to be removed from Facebook Marketplace. Your rental will continue to be advertised on the Outdoorsy website only.
In summary for the use of either site, the security deposit charged to the renter should cover mileage, any potential interior damage costs, generator or propane costs and/or insurance deductible. A pet deposit is typically a separate charge, as well as cleaning fees.
Each site carefully explains how pick-up or delivery of the RV will transpire with your renter. Pick-up and drop-off times should be included on your rental page. A walk-through will need to be part of the rental process. A complete explanation of set up, propane usage, holding tanks, use of RV amenities, weight restrictions and the like will assure you that the renter has a complete understanding before departure. It is also recommended that you leave a binder inside the RV with instructions on how everything works.
Many owners wish to include additional items such as bike racks, camp chairs, child seats or a portable grill. Some RV owners include these items as part of the rental, along with linens, towels, dishes, pots, and pans. Other owners decide to charge an add-on fee for these items. Perusing rentals on either of these sites will help you learn how best to list your RV.
Can I Rent My RV on Airbnb?
You sure can! While this is relatively new to Airbnb, I was able to find quite a few stationary RVs available for rent on the site. A list for RVs for rent falls under “unique homes” which includes yurts, buses, campers, RVs, tents, tiny homes or houseboats, to name a few.
This is an awesome and imaginative idea for the person who has the right location for a “unique home” and would rather keep their RV in a permanent location. So many people are curious about living the RV lifestyle, but either do not have the time or perhaps the resources to invest in an RV just yet. Renting a stationary RV allows one to get the feel of camping and living in a smaller space. Many will discover they can’t wait until they too become an RV owner one day.
You can find RVs on Airbnb.com that are located on someone’s private property, in an RV park, a farm or even in a beach town. Rental prices appear to be reasonable, and you choose how often you wish to rent your home. How cool to be renting a vintage Airstream in St. Augustine Beach!
Becoming an Airbnb host is simple. The host advertises his/her space for free. Airbnb requires a 3% service fee each time your RV is rented. This enables Airbnb to run its business and keep the site free of charges.
The Airbnb Host Guarantee does not replace personal and liability insurance on your RV. You will need to maintain such for any damages that may be incurred. However, Host Guarantee can provide protection up to $1M in damages on a currently covered property in a rare event guests damage incurred is above and beyond the security deposit. Check the website for details.
The fees you charge per night and how often you rent is strictly up to you. Check for comparable listings in your area. Cleaning fees, late checkout or pet fees may be incorporated into your nightly rental or collected as a separate deposit. Airbnb’s Smart Pricing tool helps you set prices in accordance with your location during periods of high or low demand, seasonally or other potential factors.
Airbnb provides a Community Center to its hosts to give guidance in setting prices or obtaining reservations quicker. The Community Center is there to help you become a confident and well-informed host.
How Much Money Can I Make Renting My RV?
The general consensus is an RV owner can make between $10,000 – $30,000 a year depending, of course, on how often you rent out your RV. The type of RV and its location will also determine rental rates and total annual income.
Follow all state and IRS tax regulations regarding income made from the rental of your RV. You may qualify for tax deductions (your RV is considered a second home in the eyes of the IRS), but you’ll also need to report qualified income. Taxes are determined on the amount made in a single year, minus deductions. Be sure to consult your tax preparer or fully understand the paperwork involved when preparing your own taxes.
Supply and demand apply to any commodity, product or service that buyers desire. It’s a consideration and factor when regulating prices. The RV industry is hot and doesn’t show signs of cooling off any time soon. Renting out RVs for profit became a newly formed industry in 2013. All in all, it was not that long ago, has plenty of room for growth, and many RV owners have profited nicely.
1. Which Rental Service is best to use?
Using Outdoorsy.com, RVshare.com or Airbnb.com is a choice best made through research, asking questions and reading reviews. These online companies have gained an excellent reputation and offer various benefits to their customers.
One notable difference during research is Outdoorsy’s offer of higher insurance coverage at a lower price. Keep in mind that personal items, such as a toaster or coffee maker, are not included in the coverage.
Outdoorsy provides a GPS tracking system so the Owner will know the location of their RV at all times. It also includes optional setup and delivery for RV owners who wish this feature.
RVshare.com offers a $1M insurance option if you wish to upgrade from the standard policy. Their standard policy includes Acts of God and gives $500,000 liability plus up to $200,000 in comprehensive and collision. RVshare markets RVs for rent from private owners as well as RV dealers.
Airbnb.com is specific for rentable RVs to be stationary. If you have the location, this can become a remarkable use as a rental.
The Bottom Line: Your peace of mind is the most important factor when renting out your RV. There are many options and definite money to be made. If this is something you’ve thought about, know you are in good hands, and these companies have your best interest at heart.
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