So you’ve made the decision to list your RV for rent to make a little (or maybe even a lot) of extra money. Good for you! Regular use is good for all types of RVs and why not make some money instead of letting your RV just sit in storage anyway?
Listing your RV for rent with Good Sam is simple and you’ll find that they guide you through every step of the process from setting up your account to getting paid for your first rental. I personally found it to be a very straightforward process and now, after three successful rentals, I’m so glad I decided to rent our travel trailer out.
I’ve compiled a list of things I have done that I believe have been helpful in getting me more bookings and therefore, more money. Here are ten tips for making your RV rental listing stand out.
Create an Approachable Profile
After creating an account at RVRentals.com you’ll need to set up your profile. This is often something that RV owners will skip over because they are anxious to get their RV listed and start getting bookings. However, having a profile can deter renters from wanting to rent your RV.
Renters are often just as nervous about the idea of renting an RV as owners are about letting someone use their RV. Both parties may feel uneasy about who the other person is and what to expect. Providing an up-close photo of yourself smiling or having fun in nature can help ease that uncertainty. Even more so, providing a friendly and playful description about yourself can make a renter feel a sense of comfort in moving forward with a rental.
Your profile picture and About Me section don’t have to be perfect, but anything is better than nothing. With internet scams being so prevalent, renters just want to know if there’s a real person behind the listing. Below is a screenshot of my profile, which is very simple.
Provide a Detailed Description of Your RV
This is probably the step of listing your RV that will take the most amount of time and thought. But it could make or break whether or not someone decides to click that button to book.
First, give your camper a good name or your listing a good title! Sounds silly, but it helps a renter know right away if it’s a good fit for them, which saves you both time. As you can see from my example above, we listed our travel trailer as a “cozy couples camper.” This is because while our dinette could sleep two small children, it’s really best for one couple and that is exactly who we have rented it to every rental we’ve done.
Maybe your RV is “perfect for a large family” or the perfect unit for an “off-the-grid getaway.” Use this opportunity as a tagline to capture your ideal renter’s attention.
In the description of your listing, you don’t need to list all the features of your RV, as that will be automatically shown in your listing. Instead, use descriptive language and try to paint a picture of what staying in your RV would be like for a renter. In other words, point out the “selling features” of your RV. Is the layout spacious? Are the beds comfortable? Is it easy to drive or tow?
Here is a snippet from my RV description:
“You’ll love this lightweight travel trailer! The rear kitchen offers a nice open living space. It has a big pantry to fit all your camping food and snacks, good counter space for cooking, and cozy recliners with a large flat-screen TV and DVD player. The bedroom has two entryways making it more accessible and the queen bed has a comfortable memory foam topper.”
Price it Right
Deciding how much to list your RV for can be tough. You want to charge enough per night to make it worth it for you to rent it out, but you also don’t want to overprice it and never get a rental. You’ll want to find the sweet spot.
My advice is to search for other listings in your area for RVs similar to yours. Find a unit in your city that is the same type of RV, sleeps the same amount of guests and offers similar space (look at length and layout). Hopefully, you’ll find a few that are similar to yours and you can compare nightly costs of them all.
When I did this, I found that travel trailers similar to mine were listed for between $100–$120 a night. I decided to list ours at $105 a night because I felt that being on the lower end of the range would work to my benefit. A $10–$15 difference per night didn’t matter as much to me in the long run if we were able to rent it more often.
You can always adjust the price later. If you aren’t getting any bookings, try lowering it and if you’re getting consistent bookings you can try raising it.
Take Quality Photos of Your RV
Your listing description and price could be spot on but without good photos, they’ll do no good. Photos are always the number one thing people will look at, but they may or may not fully read the text you put in your listing. So you want to make sure your photos can capture a renter’s attention.
You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, though. Cell phones these days take good enough quality photos. Just make sure you take the photos horizontally and ensure that they aren’t blurry. Turn on all the lights in your RV and open all the window shades to allow for the most amount of light. You’ll also want to make sure your RV is clean and items are stored or out of view in the photos. Nothing distracting should be visible — no people or pets should be in the photos so renters can envision themselves in the camper.
Stand as far back as you can when you take your photos to get a wider angle. Don’t take photos of the kitchen from two feet away and only capture the counters or a refrigerator, you want to capture each room in its entirety. You can even “stage” the rooms, as you would a house you were listing for sale. Add fresh flowers, linens, place settings, etc. This can make it feel more inviting.
It’s best to take at least ten photos of both the inside and the outside of your RV. You can even edit photos right on your phone with editing apps. But make sure the photos are an honest representation of the RV so renters aren’t misled. Below are half of the photos I took of our travel trailer as an example.
Offer Extra Amenities
Offering “extras” can seal the deal for many renters or be the reason that a renter chooses your RV over someone else’s. While you don’t want your camper’s storage compartments completely full to allow for renters to store their own items, having some things available to them is helpful.
Generally speaking, it’s good to provide the standard items needed to use your RV. Things like bedding, kitchenware and towels are items that are necessary for an overnight stay that can be a hassle for renters to have to bring themselves.
But, if you want to be a super host, you can also offer additional “bonus” items. For example, board games and movies in case renters experience bad weather, a bike rack and other adventure gear like inflatable kayaks for them to use, a generator if they are dry camping, etc.
What you provide renters is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. But sometimes adding such items can be very appealing to renters looking for a hassle-free and fun camping trip.
Be Pet Friendly
As a dog lover myself and someone who has traveled the country with two dogs in an RV, I can honestly say that camping is so much more fun with four-legged family members. They add to the adventure and they truly love it just as much as humans do, if not more. Every single time we go camping, we bring along our dogs. In fact, one of the reasons we prefer RV travel is so that our dogs can come along with us.
That being said, many dog-loving campers out there are going to feel similarly and will automatically rule out your RV if you don’t list it as pet friendly. While it’s completely up to you and your comfort level with pets, it may be worthwhile to consider trying it out before you assume pets will ruin your RV.
You can also specify which types of pets you allow, set rules, provide covers for furniture, or even charge a pet deposit. There are ways of finding a middle ground so that you have peace of mind and can ensure that your animal guests respect your RV.
Offer Added Services
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, offering services in addition to your RV can both get you more rental bookings and even make you more money. One big service that many renters look for is the delivery and set up of the RV.
You can determine the distance you’re willing to deliver to and the price for compensation. Some people may even prefer to do rentals this way, to have control over the transport of your RV.
Another service some RV owners offer is to dump the tanks after a rental. I added this service in the description of our RV and I charge an additional $50 if a renter chooses to take advantage of this. It’s especially helpful for renters who are dry camping and don’t want to deal with the hassle of locating a dump after their trip.
Communication is Key
When I think of instances where I am trying to decide between multiple people who offer the same service, I typically choose the person who has the best customer service and fastest response time. The RV rental space is no different so responding to a rental request within 24 hours at least could be critical when it comes to bookings. Having a friendly and warm tone in communication with your renters can certainly go a long way as well.
Get Good Reviews
Good reviews are everything these days and being able to read the positive experiences that other renters have had with your RV could speak louder than your RV itself. If past renters haven’t reviewed you in a timely manner, it’s perfectly okay to message them and kindly ask them to do so at their earliest convenience.
To help ensure that you receive positive feedback in your reviews, perhaps you could ask your renters prior to their trip what things would help to make it a five-star rental. Then the expectations have been set and you can do your best to meet them and ensure you get that high review rating.
Offer Instant Booking
Using the instant rentals feature with Good Sam allows renters to book immediately without an owners approval of the selected dates. The benefit to offering this is that it allows renters to solidify their camping plans right away without having to wait on your response. For renters looking to book an RV rental on short notice, this can be a big help.
If you choose to set up instant booking, you can still set the number of days within the start of the trip that you will not allow a renter to book to give you some notice of the rental. To use this feature, it’s imperative that you keep your calendar up-to-date and that you feel comfortable renting to anyone without asking questions regarding their trip and their plans for using your RV.
One final tip I have in addition to these ten is that I encourage you to not fully rely on the rental platform to advertise your RV listing, but to use your network too! Share your listing on social media, with neighbors and coworkers, etc. Some people have never even heard of the concept of renting an RV privately.
You can also utilize your renters to spread the word about your RV. After their rental, share a business card with them in case their friends or family are ever looking for an RV rental in the future. Sometimes good old word of mouth is the best way to go.
I hope these ten tips help you as you prepare to list your RV for rent. Remember to check Good Sam’s owner FAQs page for more helpful information regarding renting your RV.