When is it Too Windy to Drive an RV?

When is it Too Windy to Drive an RV?

Any experienced RVer will tell you that driving an RV in windy conditions can be very dangerous. We all know how dangerous it is to drive in the rain and some of us have also experienced driving in the snow! But all too often we underestimate windy conditions. Why? Because you can’t see the wind like you can see snow and rain but it can be just as dangerous if you aren’t prepared. And we are used to driving our cars during very windy conditions with no problems at all. So, we are lulled into a false sense of security.

So, when is it too windy to drive an RV? A good rule thumb is to avoid driving an RV in winds that exceed 50 mph. Wind speeds approaching 60 mph are enough to overturn an RV. The larger the RV the more surface area. And the more surface area the more likely it is that the wind can tip you over.

Below we discuss many factors to consider when driving your RV in windy conditions, tips for driving in the wind and safety concerns, as well. 

How Does the Wind Affect Driving an RV or Travel Trailer?

The wind is not something to disregard when driving your RV. One common problem with driving an RV in high winds, especially if it’s a travel trailer being towed or an RV with a tow car behind is the trailer or tow vehicle can swerve into other lanes uncontrollably. I’ve been driving down the highway behind another truck towing a travel trailer and saw the wind catch the travel trailer. It began to shake and swerve back and forth uncontrollably. 

Not only does this present a problem for the RV driver but also for the other drivers on the road. The swerving is caused by a side wind, or crosswind, that is wind blowing on either side of your RV. And that swerving can add to the force of the wind and cause the travel trailer to tip over.

A straight on wind poses a different issue. Head on wind will make your RV feel bumpy. This is called bucking. While safer than side winds it is still not to be taken lightly.

It’s also important to understand how your particular vehicle behaves on the road because every RV is different in terms of balance and weight. Therefore it can take different levels of wind before it becomes a problem. However, If you experience either of these situations pull over and wait for the wind to calm down. It’s not worth risking your life, or others, due to wind-related issues.

Can Wind Actually Tip An RV Over?

Yes, the wind can actually tip an RV over. Especially while driving. The force of the wind combined with the wind force generated by a moving RV or travel camper can create enough force to tip an RV over. If the wind exceeds 50 mph, it is a good idea to pull over and get off the road. An RV tipping over is not something you or anyone else on the road would like to see.

The likelihood of wind knocking over a parked RV is slim to none, but it will create a somewhat rocking feeling if you don’t have leveling jacks. The last thing you want on your vacation is your living space to feel like a turbulent airplane.

Leveling jacks can help to stabilize your RV in addition to keeping your RV level. One way to try to prevent the full strength of wind hitting the side of your RV when parked is to park it so the front or rear is facing into the wind. 

Driving Tips for Windy Conditions

The best tip for driving in windy conditions is to know your limitations. Driving limitations are all about what you are comfortable with. Some owners don’t drive in winds over 20 mph while others are comfortable driving in winds up to 40 mph. Understanding your limitations is essential when determining your comfort zone so you know when it’s time to pull over for a bit. Besides that, one of the things that can help immensely is investing in a sound suspension system. This includes things like installing anti-sway bars in the front and back of the vehicle as well as making sure you have good shocks installed.

Quite often, it is also raining when there is excessive wind. So good tires with deep tread can help reduce how much you might slide on the road. When dealing with high winds, it is vital to be more attentive to your surroundings when driving. For example, if you are driving in a heavily wooded area, the wind will not affect your vehicle as much as when you are driving in an open area. Just be aware of this and don’t let the open area catch you by surprise.

Some other great tips for driving in wind are:

High Wind SignBe on the Lookout for Wind Restriction Warnings on the Highway Signs – very often the state highway signs on bridges or overpasses wind restrictions. 

The Lighter Your RV the Greater the Risk of Tipping Over – Be aware of your RV weight. If you are traveling without supplies on board your RV will be lighter and at higher risk for tipping over.

Driver Slower – Remember that the faster you drive the more friction your RV creates with the air. Add that to the wind friction in high winds and enough energy can be created to tip you over.

Pull Over and Park – If it’s too windy just wait it out. No destination is so important that it can’t wait a day.

Check the Weather When Planning Your Trip – If you check the weather before you hit the road you may be able to drive around storms rather than straight into them.

Factors to Consider When Driving Your RV in Windy Conditions

The two biggest factors to consider when driving in the wind are RV weight and wind direction.

What is your RV weight when loaded? In other words, did you pack heavy for a long trip or light for a weekend getaway? Obviously, the heavier the RV, the less likely wind is to become a factor. On the other hand, if the RV is lighter, you will have to pay closer attention to wind as it can become a factor with a smaller vehicle.

The factors to consider when driving your RV is the direction of the wind. Is the wind blowing toward your RV or against the side? And is the wind causing you to leave your lane while driving? Swerving our of your lane can be just as dangerous as tipping over. Especially if there are other drivers on the road.

Safe Driving Speeds for Windy Conditions

Because of the different shapes, sizes, and weights of RVs, there is no “one speed fits all” answer. The more susceptible your vehicle is to the wind, the slower you will need to go. It is also suggested that you try to stay about 10-20 mph below the posted speed limit. As for heavier vehicles, it can’t hurt to knock 5-10 MPH off your normal speed just to be safe and not take any unnecessary risks.

Examples of RVs more likely to be affected by wind are fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-ups, and in some cases, even class Bs. Vehicles that are large enough that they typically won’t be heavily affected by a small amount wind include large, heavy fifth wheels, class A and Class C RVs. However, that doesn’t mean wind can’t affect your vehicle, and it is still beneficial to be safe and take the precautions.

How Much Wind is Too Much?

Generally speaking, wind over 50 mph is too much wind to safely drive your RV. But, if the wind is causing you to lose control of your RV then you should pull over and wait out the wind. It simply isn’t worth continuing on if you know you are not in control of the RV. If you know ahead of time that wind is in the forecast for your trip, it may not be a bad idea to attempt to postpone your trip or drive around a storm.

What are Wind Restrictions?

In some areas, the local government implements wind restrictions, which substantially limit the traffic allowed on the roads while the wind is heavy. They typically restrict big trucks and RVs. This information is essential to check before departing for your trip. Otherwise, you could be in for an unfriendly surprise. Wind restrictions are usually implemented when there are winds of 50 mph or more for 10 minutes or more. Certain bridges also utilize wind restrictions, especially if they span over water because wind gusts are more likely in open areas. Please make sure you are doing your research before departing for your trip to ensure you won’t run into any issues.

The wind is not something you should take lightly, and while the impact is different for different vehicles, it still affects everyone. It is best to use common sense while driving in heavy winds. If your RV feels out of control at all, it’s time to pull over. It’s also important to keep an eye on road signs for wind restrictions too. Hopefully, this article acted as a guide for how to handle windy conditions as an RV owner, be safe and happy traveling.

Do you have any tips or advice for driving an RV in high winds? Please share your comments below!

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Do Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Away From RVs and Campers?

Eek!  There’s a mouse in the house!  What’s an RVer to do?  We’ve all read woeful tales, with some of us in disbelief, about RVers who have found a mouse, or mice, in their home on wheels.  The problem is more common than you think.  Thousands of insurance claims are made on RVs every year for rodent damage. 

Do dryer sheets keep mice away from RVs and campers? While dryer sheets may help for a while, they certainly can not be considered a suitable long-term decision. Keeping dryer sheets lying around your RV to repel mice is not necessarily the best solution. The good news is there are some relatively easy fixes for these unwanted rodents.

How to Mouse Proof Your Camper and Keep Mice Away

How did the mouse find its way into your RV?  They are intelligent and curious creatures and can squeeze through some pretty small crevices like nobody’s business.  A good plan is to wait until dark, turn on all your interior lights, go outside and check the roof, siding, door openings and underside of the RV for any light that may be seeping through.  Mice, like squirrels, have been known to chew through wiring, hoses, rubber, and shred or gnaw insulation to use for building their nests.

If you have any gaps or openings, fill them with steel wool, then cover them with duck tape.  You’ll then want to caulk around the edges of the duck tape to ensure the opening is totally sealed.  Mice will not chew through steel wool.  If a hole is larger than 1 inch, seal it with a mixture of steel wool and expanding foam or another appropriate material.

Be proactive inside your RV as well to deter mice or any other unwanted pests.  Wipe down counters, sweep, use a hand or standard vacuum for carpets, seal foods properly, and never leave pet food down longer than necessary.  An RV sitting for a length of time and left unchecked is also more likely to incur potential damage and infestation from unwanted guests.

Can Bounce Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Away?

Research has shown that Bounce dryer sheets are the best ones to use that have an effect on mice.  It is true, they hate the smell of them. However, dryer sheets will lose their scent, thereby, needing to be replaced at least every week or so to keep a strong enough aroma in your RV to repel a mouse.

Counters, sink tops, and cabinets should be wiped down using a Bounce dryer sheet.  You may need to stuff some in cabinets, closets, bathrooms or corners of the floor.  Mice scurry along the floor, finding the appropriate place to climb when they need to.  There seems to be more work involved using dryer sheets than other methods found to repel mice. 

Don’t expect Bounce dryer sheets to work miracles.  You don’t want a so-so product that requires frequent trips to the RV.  You want a product that provides the answer.  While Bounce dryer sheets certainly may help initially rid you of a mouse, they will not solve an infestation or be a reliable long-term solution. 

The Best Scents That Repel Mice

Mice are repelled by smells.  This makes logical sense.  One smell, cat urine, seems to be high on their “keep away from” list.  While the majority of RVers do not travel with cats nor would deal with that odor themselves, we will cross that one right off the list.  

Mothballs are known to keep mice away. However, they have an offensive stench and are not safe for children or pets.  Fortunately, there are several other smells that mice hate.

Essential oils have made big news as natural health products these days, and they can add one more tag on the bottle as Mouse Repellent.  That’s right!  Something that smells so good is on the “no-no” list for mice.  One such oil is peppermint.  Mice cannot tolerate its strong aroma.  Simply apply 20 to 30 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and leave in various spots in your RV.  Again, the peppermint smell will not last forever, but depending on the oil, you may get a month’s worth of aroma.  Be sure to place the cotton balls in cabinets, closets, bathrooms, and along baseboards.  You can even leave some peppermint tea bags out to add to your arsenal against mice. 

Cinnamon oil also acts to repel mice.  This is often used along with peppermint oil as a deterrent.  Try 15 drops of cinnamon oil and 15 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball.  Use your own judgment in determining just how “smelly” the cotton balls need to be to keep those pesky mice away.

Mint is another essential oil or plant that will discourage mice.  Similar to peppermint, but possibly more pleasant smelling for humans, place 20 to 30 drops of mint oil on a cotton ball.  Place in various locations of the RV, and you’ll have mice checking out other RVs but not yours.  Think about keeping a few mint plants around the exterior of your RV too.

Lastly, clove oil has also been known to have mice running the other way.  Use this oil as you would the mint oil. 

Will Irish Spring Soap Keep Mice Away From My RV?

Irish-Spring-in-RVIrish Spring soap bars do help to keep mice away from your RV or camper. We use Irish Spring in our own RV to keep mice out over the winter, and we had no mice at all. Irish Spring will keep mice away, but it does not work on insects. But I think it works really well.

For some good information about how to get rid of ants and other insects in your RV check out our article called 7 Incredibly Effective Home Remedies To Rid Your RV of Ants.

What is the Best Mouse Repellent?

There are many products on the market specifically designed to ward off mice from entering your RV.  Here’s a few we found to help mouse afflicted RVers. 

Mouse Magic Natural Repellant –  This combines those sweet-smelling essential oils with a granulated absorbent material.  This repellant is packaged in “scent packs” which you place anywhere that mice may enter, eat or nest.  The scent packs can be used indoors or outdoors, and when used as directed, are safe around children and pets.  Mouse Magic also comes in a shaker for external use under and around your RV.  It is biodegradable and completely safe to use.  

Grandpa Gus’s Natural Mouse Rodent Repellant –  This natural product also contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.  This chemical can be found in many hygiene products, such as toothpaste, and is intended to improve the effectiveness of the product. You can spray Grandpa Gus’s in any area of the RV without worrying about damage to finishes, furniture, children or pets.  

Home Sentinel Ultrasonic Mouse Control – I have used these ultrasonic devices in my home and RV and I have to say they work great. They rid your RV of mice, as well as other unacceptable pests such as spiders, cockroaches, and crickets, to name a few.  Ultrasonic devices plug into an outlet on the wall and emit a powerful sound at high frequency. 

The sound is inaudible to humans and pets, but rodents and insects can hear it.  It’s an eco-friendly and low-cost alternative to poisons, traps or other sprays.  One device covers 260 square feet.  A device should be plugged into each room separated by walls as the device is unable to penetrate walls or solid objects.  

Mouse-Free Repelling Undercarriage Lubricant – This non-drip lubricant can be applied to the entire undercarriage of your RV.  The scent and slippery nature of the product makes it impossible for mice, squirrels, or insects to find a way of entering your RV.  

Once You Get Mice Away – Keep Them Away

Mice are determined and tenacious critters.  They can fit into the tiniest of spaces and gaps causing havoc for many RVers.  Don’t wait until you see mice.  Be sure to check for droppings, ripped insulation, gnaw marks and under the hood of motorhomes. 

Any opening like cracks and holes in a water hose, access panel or gaps in a door frame or slide out are potential opportunities to invite a mouse and her family to take up residency in your RV.  It’s best to seal any openings, pack up leftover food items, and ensure crumbs and sticky residue are cleaned up. Check your RV on a regular basis if at all possible, and determine the best form of discouraging mice from making your RV their home.

Do you have a great way to repel mice away from your RV, or camper trailer? Please share your idea by leaving a comment below!

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Homemade RV Awning Cleaner and Cleaning Tips

Any RVer will roll their eyes when the conversation arises on keeping an awning clean.  And there are many homemade RV awning cleaning solutions that have been used.

But not all homemade awning cleaners are created equal.  Getting your RV awning squeaky clean with the proper cleaning agent depends on the material of that particular awning.  Many RV awnings are made from a premium “marine-grade” vinyl, while fabric awnings are most likely a dyed acrylic fabric. Read on to get cleaning tips for both types.

Mold and mildew seem to appear overnight before your very eyes.  Depending on the color of your awning, it may show up as a big, green, moldy flag to you and everyone else near your campsite.  Fear not, with a little diligent TLC, you can extend the life of your awning and have it looking like new again.

Fabric Awnings

Fabric awnings are commonly referred to as acrylic or canvas and are often made by Sunbrella.  They are breathable, UV resistant and dry quickly.  Fabric awnings are not waterproof but are water repellant.

The repellant finish, however, can fade and lose its repellency over time.  When this happens, you’ll notice the awning stays damp, and it may even begin to leak.  Be sure to reapply a water repellant like 303 Fabric Guard to fabric awnings as needed.  Without proper treatment, the awning could permanently stain.

Vinyl Awnings

Vinyl awnings are mildew resistant but not mildew proof.  In humid and rainy climates, this can be particularly troublesome as the awning remains wet much of the time.  When vinyl is treated properly with a quality protectant like 303 Aerospace Protectant, mold and mildew can be kept at bay.

Prepare To Clean Your RV Awning

If you read many articles or forums online on the subject of cleaning an awning, you’ll find that everyone has their “tried and true” method guaranteed to work.  And, of course, you’re left wondering, will this really work?   The last thing you want to do is damage your awning or shorten its lifespan.  With that said, there are several methods and cleaners that work well.

Whether fabric or vinyl, getting ready to clean your awning will involve wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained.  Also, be sure to put on a protective face mask and gloves.  Cleaning products, as well as mold spores, can easily be inhaled or get in your eyes causing irritation or illness.

You’ll need a long-handled push-style broom and a hand brush or sponge.  A push broom should be long enough to reach across the top of your awning.  The hand brush should be soft for vinyl awnings.  Using a hard or course brush can be detrimental to the repellant that keeps the vinyl mildew resistant.  A sponge or soft cloth can be used on fabric awnings but keep in mind never scrub so hard as to damage or tear the fabric.

A step ladder may come in handy for ensuring you can reach all areas and corners of the awning.  You’ll need a hose and spray nozzle for wetting down the awning and rinsing, as well as a spray bottle or bucket to hold your cleaner.

How to Make Homemade RV Awning Cleaner

Here’s where the fun begins.  Choosing your awning cleaner is a bit like “choosing your poison.”  Remember, I mentioned earlier there are opinions galore on tried and true methods.  These homemade cleaners have been touted to work wonders.

DIY Recipe #1:  Mix one-gallon water and one quart of white vinegar (approved for vinyl or fabric).

DIY Recipe #2:  Same as Recipe #1 but add one squeeze of Dawn dish soap (approved for vinyl or fabric).

DIY Recipe #3:  Mix one part hydrogen peroxide to six parts water.  (This is best used on vinyl as opposed to fabric awnings.)

DIY Recipe #4:  Mix two parts grated Fels-Naptha bar soap, one-part borax (sodium borate), one-part washing soda (sodium carbonate) and hot water.  Adjust your mixture to what works best for the size of your awning.  Consistency should be a semi-liquid soap when cool.  The leftover solution can be stored for future use (approved for vinyl or fabric).

DIY Recipe #5:  This recipe is especially for fabric awnings.  Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste.  Gently rub soiled areas with a sponge.  Baking soda cleans and refreshes without harming the fabric and rinses clean.

While several RVers have admitted to using bleach, granted a relatively small amount in comparison to the amount of water, bleach can only be used sparingly and no more than once a year.  It is detrimental to vinyl stitching and discolors fabric.  If you do use bleach, test an inconspicuous spot first to see if fading or discoloration occurs.

While these next two are not “homemade” products, I found Spic N Span and “Awesome” Cleaner mentioned several times as great cleaning agents.  With any over the counter products not specifically made for RV awnings, its best to read the ingredient label and again, do a test spot.

Tips for Cleaning Your RV Awning

Now that you’ve decided upon your cleaner, there’s a method to this madness.  Application and timing are everything.

Step 1:  Extend the awning.  Inspect the bottom awning brackets, lag bolts, pivot holes and rivets for any needed repair.  Ensure the top rail of the awning is securely mounted to the side of the RV.  Never remove the awning end caps.  Serious injury may occur from spring tension.

Step 2:  Thoroughly wet the extended and stabilized awning top and underside.

Step 3:  Apply the cleaner with either a spray bottle or by dipping a brush into a bucket of the cleaner.  Use a long-handled brush to rub the cleaner onto the awning ensuring all areas are covered top and underside.  Take time to gently scrub the stained areas with a hand brush or sponge.  Toothbrushes make a perfect cleaning tool for corners and crevices.

Step 4:  Roll up or retract the awning.  Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.  Some RV owners have suggested waiting only 5 minutes while others believe a full 30 minutes works best.  You’ll need to be the judge on this one.

Step 5:   At this point, dip one corner of the awning downward for easy run-off.  Rinse thoroughly with a hose.  If you are seeing any bubbles or residue, an additional rinse certainly will do no harm.  Leave the awning out until completely and thoroughly dry.

Know your limitations.  This can be a physically demanding job, and an awning may need hours of attention if it’s dirtier than imagined.  Sometimes it’s best to have a professional do the job.  “For heavier jobs or on hard to reach awnings, the best step is to call a professional who will attack the problem with a pressurized water cleaner that flushes dirt and grime away,” says Jeff Bredenberg in Clean It Fast, Clean It Right:  The Ultimate Guide to Making Absolutely Everything You Own Sparkle & Shine.

Protecting Your RV Awning

Now that you’ve gone through the effort to get that awning mold and mildew-free applying a protective shield will do wonders to enhance the mildew and water-resistant qualities of your awning.  Depending on the material, vinyl or fabric, there are several good repellants on the market.  We really like the 303 products because they seem to work the best.  Be sure to follow use directions for application of any products purchased.

303 Fabric Guard303 Fabric Guard – This commercial-grade protector guarantees the best shield for your fabric awning against the outdoor elements.  Many consumer-grade protectors do not do an adequate job with fabric awnings. Use this product on Fabric Awnings after a good cleaning. It will help to keep your awning looking great while repelling water.

 

303 Aerospace Protectant303 Aerospace Protectant – This high-quality treatment for vinyl awnings not only protects against fading and the sun’s UV rays but repels dust and stains too. This protectant also restores the color of the awning and helps it resist cracking.

Look for a spray that is soil resistant, water and stain repellant and long-lasting.  Silicone or oil-based sprays should never be used on fabric awnings. Check out our article called How to Clean the Outside of a Camper Trailer for a ton of cleaning tips and products to clean the outside of your RV!

Happy Awning = Happy Campers. With a little ingenuity, elbow grease, and know-how you can keep your RV awning in tip-top shape, giving it a long life and an attractive appearance.  You’ll be one happy camper rolling out that beautiful awning at your campsite now!

Do you have any helpful tips or advice for cleaning an RV awning? Please share your ideas or comments below?

And if you found this article to be informative please help us out and share it on social media! We really appreciate you taking a second to share our content!

 

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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.”

Pros

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.

Cons

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

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

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.

Related Questions

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.

Conclusion

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.

Make Money By Renting Out Your RV

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How Much Does an A Frame Pop Up Camper Cost?

How Much Does an A Frame Pop Up Camper Cost?

A-Frame Pop-up Camper Costs 

If you’re in the market for a new pop up camper but want to compare different costs, you’ll most likely come across an A-Frame Pop Up camper in your research. It is an excellent choice for many reasons that we’ll get into below. It is also known to be budget friendly compared to other types of RVs and campers.

The cost for a new Pop Up A Frame Camper ranges in price from $11,000 to $26,000 and a used one ranges from $5,900 to $18,000. Of course features, amenities, age, and condition can have a huge influence on the price.

We saw an Aliner A-frame popup trailer at an RV Show and it was pretty awesome. The thing that I found most interesting was that some A-Frames can include a full wet shower. I had no idea that was possible.

And I was also impressed with how quickly they can be folded up and unfolded. It literally took the sales rep about 2 minutes to set up and then unfold the trailer. Check out the Youtube video I included at the end of the article to see for yourself.

What is an A-Frame Pop Up Camper?

A Frame Popup TrailerThis type of camper is technically classified as a popup but it’s also known as a fold down. It lays flat when being towed or stored, much like a traditional pop-up camper, but they have hard sides made of fiberglass or vinyl. When in use, the hard sided panels come up and meet to create a roof in the shape of an “A,” hence its name!

A-Frame Popups offer many amenities such as air conditioning, bathrooms, skylights, kitchens, exterior showers, and some even have exterior storage.

Pros and Cons

So why even look into buying an A-Frame camper versus other campers and RVs? There are plenty of positives with these campers:

  • Easy to Pop Up: There are tons of videos out there to show you just how easy and straightforward this type of trailer can be to put up and down. Most are merely unhitching the locks and pressing a button to create the roof, then lifting the sides and locking them in place!
  • Lightweight: This can be good for many reasons, but overall, it means that smaller vehicles can tow it. Not only are they easy to tow behind a car or SUV but you’ll also save on gas compared to bigger and heavier campers.
  • Fits Smaller Sites: With its smaller size and easy maneuverability, this camper can be set up in a lot more campsites than a larger size RV, sometimes even getting away with being parked in a tent site (always check with your campground first!).
  • Amenities: Even though it’s smaller, there is still plenty of room for a comfy bed (or two) and a smaller kitchen at the very least. There are tons of different layouts to choose from, even with this small trailer.
  • Camping All Year Round: Unlike with vinyl pop up campers, this hard-sided camper can be brought on adventures no matter what the season. The hard sides provide plenty of insulation for chilly nights.

We all know that nothing is perfect, and this camper with its many positivities, still has some negatives as well:

  • Not a Ton of Space: If you’re in the market for a camper that you can sprawl out in and have some space this may not be the camper for you. Its compact design means there’s not a lot of room inside, not to mention the fact that the walls form an A, meaning minimal headspace as well.
  • Some Don’t Have Toilets or Showers: Luxury amenities like bathrooms or showers are sometimes left out of these small floorplans, so you’ll just need to use the campground bathrooms.
  • Severe Weather: While they can withstand high winds and bad weather if you happen to roll up to a site in bad weather, the simple set up process might be miserable for a few minutes

So, How Much Do They Cost?

Like most vehicles and RVs, you can get them both new and used all around the country.

A used A-frame camper is going to cost roughly anywhere from $5900 to $17750, depending of course on brand, size, amenities, and age. A quick search on google or RVTrader.com will get you in contact with local camper dealerships or private sellers and you’re sure to find an A-frame you will like.

A new A-frame camper can cost anywhere from $11200 to $26299. Some examples of brand new A-frame campers include:

  • A-Liner campers with 9 different models to choose from.
  • Forest River Rockwood Hard-sided Campers

Here are some examples of new and used A-Frame Popup Costs

New:

  • 2020 Aliner Scout-Lite – $9,999
  • 2020 Aliner Ranger 12 – $13,495
  • 2020 Forest River Rockwood Hardside – $16,290
  • 2020 Aliner Classic – $22,582

Used:

  • 2012 Aliner Scout – $6,500
  • 2018 Aliner Ranger 12 – $11,500
  • 2018 Forest River Rockwood Hardside – $14,891
  • 2016 Aliner Classic – $17,500

When looking at purchasing an A-frame camper, make sure you look at the specifications to ensure that your car can tow it without issues and of course that it has the amenities that you need. It might be worth looking into renting one first before buying, to make sure that it fits your lifestyle as well as your budget.

Just check out Outdoorsy or RVshare and you can find plenty of A-Frames to rent. We always recommend renting before you buy so you can be sure you buy the right RV with the best amenities to fit your needs.

We do hope that this brief guide will help you with your camper buying decision. An A-frame camper is a great option, not only for those on a budget, but also those who may be looking for a no frill, but still sturdy camper option. They are easily towable, easy to put up and take down and with the possibility of buying new or used, you’ll surely find one in your price range.

You might also want to check out our article called 25 Beginner Tips for Travel Trailer Camping for some tips and gear you might need for your new pop up.

Do you have an A-Frame Popup Camper? Please leave a comment below to help others who are considering purchasing one.

As always, thanks for reading the article. If you found it informative please share it on social media! We really appreciate you sharing our articles.

 

How Much Does an A Frame Pop Up Camper Cost_

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Harvest Hosts – A Great Way to Camp for Free!

Harvest Hosts – A Great Way to Camp for Free!

Harvest Hosts Review

We think that Harvest Hosts is a great membership that allows us to find incredibly cool places to spend the night for free! Yes – I said FREE!

We have spent too many nights in campgrounds where we paid $50 to arrive at 8:00 at night, spend the night and then leave the following morning. And that gets expensive fast! But all that changed when we received a Harvest Hosts membership as a gift from my daughters.

If you aren’t familiar with Harvest Hosts here is how it works. Harvest Hosts has over 700 wineries, breweries, farms, museums and other attractions that allow RVers to spend the night for FREE! You are encouraged to purchase something from the host when you spend the night – like a bottle of wine, a six pack of beer or some fresh veggies. Heck, you would probably buy that stuff anyway!

You get to stay at some incredibly interesting places, meet the locals who own or work at the location and get some great ideas about what to do and where to go in the area.

So, we have found that for just $79 a year we have over 700 locations where we can stay the night for free which saves us a ton of money on campground fees. If you stay at a Harvest Host location for just 1 night you could break even, which seems like a no brainer to me.

Benefits of A Harvest Host Membership

1. Unique Camping Locations

broken spoke wineryCampgrounds can be overpriced and offer small campsites where everyone is packed in like sardines. And the amenities at most campgrounds aren’t that great. It gets old sitting outside of our RV looking at the side of the neighbors RV. But with a Harvest Host Membership, we get to stay at some gorgeous locations with beautiful views!

Many of the locations are wineries but there are also breweries, farms, museums, distilleries, and other great locations. And, there are fabulous locations all over the country.

2. You Get to Meet Interesting People

You will get to meet some very interesting, informative and kind people when you stay at a Harvest Hosts location. Many of the owners and employees of each location are happy to tell you all about their farm or winery. Many will even take you on a tour.

But they are also willing to give you plenty of information about all of the local attractions, restaurants, and cool places to visit in the area. The info is invaluable. So, instead of relying on yelp or the internet you get real information from locals.

3. You Get to Support Local Businesses

I love the feeling I get when I can help support a local business. There is just something right about helping a fellow American make a living. And, the hosts are always so appreciative when we support them by buying something from them. It’s truly a win-win situation.

4. Harvest Hosts Keeps Adding New Locations

Harvest Hosts actively seeks out new interesting locations all the time. They have added about 100 locations in the past year and keep adding more! And we get the benefit of staying at all of them – at no extra charge!

How To Use Your Membership – It’s Easy!

Once you sign up for Harvest Hosts it’s very easy to use. You can search for host locations by State, Location or by Route. You can plan a route to anywhere and stay at Harvest Host locations the whole way and never pay for a campground!

HarvestHostsSome tips to make your stay more enjoyable are to read through the FAQ section of the Harvest Host site to get most of your questions answered about pets, generator use, campfires, and general etiquette.

And also check your host location on Google Maps before you call the host to book a night. Most locations are in awesome areas but a few are in the middle of a town or near a main road. A quick check on Google Maps will help ensure you make a good choice.

Then just call the host, ask any questions you might have and book your spot. It’s really just that simple. In addition to using the Harvest Host website, you can download the app after you are a member, which is really convenient and easy to use too.

Want 300 More Free Places to Stay?

So, in addition to the 700+ locations, Harvest Hosts offers an add on package for just $40 which gives you 300+ golf courses and country clubs where you can spend the night. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen an ugly golf course! Most are beautifully landscaped and offer a clubhouse, locker room, restaurant, driving range and of course the golf course.

If you are a golfer this is a great opportunity to spend your money on golf instead of campground fees, and stay in gorgeous amenity filled locations. And even if you aren’t a golfer, golf courses are beautiful places to stay for free and the amenities are top notch!

Our Recommendation

We love our Harvest Host Membership and we think you will too. You just can’t beat a free overnight stay in a gorgeous location with great people full of local information and knowledge. And it sure beats staying for free in the WalMart parking lot!

All you need to do is choose the plan that’s best for you and sign up!

The Harvest Host Classic Plan gets you over 700 locations for just $79 a year.

The Harvest Host Classic Plan + Golf Plan gets you all of the Harvest Host Classic locations plus over 300 golf courses around the country and it’s only an additional $40 for a total of $119.

If you would like to support our small business and join Harvest Hosts you will receive a 15% discount!

So, that’s just $67 for the Classic Plan or just $101 for the Classic Plan Plus Golf. And when you use our link to Harvest Hosts we make a few bucks to help pay for the website. Thanks, and we appreciate your business too!

Harvest Hosts – A Great Way to Camp for Free!

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