What You Need To Know Before Renting Out Your RV

camper

Research shows that more than 10 million RVs or motorhomes owned by US families sit unused for a good amount of time each year. Owners spend large amounts of money on storage and parking fees, taxes, and depreciation of the vehicle as time passes. Many have turned to RV rentals as a side hustle to earn extra money to cover the costs of ownership. This is especially so with the domestic travel industry enjoying a surge in demand for these vehicles during the Coronavirus pandemic, as travelers look for RV rentals by owner.

You Can Earn Extra Income With Little Effort

More likely than not, the extra income that you earn through renting out your RV is the largest motivator when considering a rental business. However, you should be aware that factors such as your location, the maintenance level of your RV, the model of your RV, and even any extra amenities which you offer, such as setups or furniture, can affect the amount of money you earn from the rental.

As a rough guide, a class A RV is likely to bring you anywhere from 1.9K to 3.9K, whereas a camper van is likely to fetch you no more than 1.9K. As with houses, a larger RV is likely to command a higher rent due to the larger space and the comfort it offers.

That’s not to say that smaller RVs aren’t a good rental option. If you put them up for rent during the peak season in summer, you can still earn a good amount of money, which could go towards paying your monthly mortgage. Furthermore, smaller RVs are popular with couples and younger families as they are cheaper to rent.

If you can afford it, another strategy to adopt would be to buy an RV solely intended for full-time rental. This is a costly strategy, and you must carefully assess your finances before committing to this plan.

Regardless of which strategy you go for, you want to price your rentals correctly in order to maximize profits. For instance, the peak period where demand is high for RV rentals would be in the summer break, during school holidays, and perhaps over the Easter holidays when the weather is good for outdoor trips. Charge more money during these seasons so it can cover the shortfall in the lull periods during winter.

To further increase your profitability, you could go the extra step of curating a themed rental. This could be a musical-themed rental for a festival or event, a celebratory-themed one for couples on their anniversary trip, or perhaps a sports-themed one for a couple of guys looking to fish for the weekend. By doing so, you will be able to get bookings from people who are looking for a full vacation with amenities and activities planned.

broken glass

Damages Can Be Costly to Fix

Having owned your RV for a long time, you are bound to know every nook and cranny of it. You’ll also know what to look out for when driving it, such as blind spots or how the drive handles. However, the same isn’t true for renters. They may be inexperienced and totally new to driving an RV. 

This means that they may not be aware of the differences between driving a sedan or SUV versus a much larger RV. They might forget to switch off the tap or the lights, leading to flooding of the camper or perhaps the battery going dead. Renters who have no experience towing a trailer may end up backing the RV into a tree due to a limited field of vision.

There are numerous scenarios where costly damage can occur to your RV, and this is the biggest con to renting it out. Some of the more common damages which occur to rented RVs include:

  • Excessive use of the RV systems such as its hot water tanks, stoves, or furnaces can hasten the replacement process and cut short the shelf life of the system.
  • Damaged furnishing or upholstery due to unsecured items which move about due to unsafe driving.
  • Damaged equipment such as fishing poles or kayaks as renters pay little care to amenities that don’t belong to them.
  • Lasting odors caused by smokers or renters with bad personal hygiene.
  • Damage to carpentry as a result of untrained pets left unattended within the RV during the rental period.
  • Damages to the roof when renters fail to consider the excess clearance needed before going through tunnels or under trees with low-hanging branches.

iPhone charging on a book

Of course, this is a short and non-exhaustive list, but you can probably already imagine the amount of damage that could be caused to your RV by an inexperienced driver. It’s probably a good idea to come up with a downloadable instruction manual of things to look out for when driving the RV that renters can refer to and familiarize themselves with before the trip. You’ll probably also want to have a hard copy of this manual kept within the RV during the rental period. When the renter first picks up the RV, spend some time going through the manual with them before they head off. Hopefully, this minimizes the damage that can be caused.

Another tip that some RV owners chose to use to minimize the chances of their RV being damaged is to offer the RV as a destination on its own. However, this is usually only a viable option if you are located in the mountains, near a big city where there are many other attractions, or near a nice lazy beach.

Conclusion

Owning a motorhome can be costly, and one of the ways that many choose to minimize the cost is by listing it for rent. Of course, there are a few things to consider before you take that step, while it can be a good source of passive income, renting it out may depreciate the value of the RV, too. We hope this article has helped you figure out whether renting out your RV is suitable for you!

Leave a Reply