Curious about what it would be Like to Rent Out Your RV? We have rented our RV over 25 times in the past 3 years. Having some ups and downs has taught us a lot about the right way to go about renting out the RV. Trust me, these tips can save you time, money and heartache. Forget Craigslist or FB Marketplace, there are some great safe services to use like Good Sam Rentals. These are peer-to-peer RV rental platforms. Think of them as the Airbnb’s of RV rentals.
But before you turn the keys over to your first RV renter, here are a few things you need to think about. We started renting our RV a few years ago and had success. Once Good Sam Rentals launched, we quickly listed our RV for rent on that platform. Having our RV listing on multiple platforms definitely increased our number of inquiries. We were drawn to Good Sam’s RV rentals by the lower cost and brand-name exposure.
Research the Platforms. Know the Costs and Benefits
The headlines tout making up to $50,000 plus from renting your RV. While this may be true, you need to understand the costs and the benefits provided by each platform. Each takes a “cut” or percentage of your rental income. Good Sam Rentals have a low 5% commission, while other RV rental platforms charge significantly more. Most provide up to a million dollar liability insurance and free roadside assistance.
Pro Tip —if you want to earn top dollar on your RV rental, a few “extras” go a long way. A simple “thank you for your rental” basket is a great surprise for renters and definitely will have them starting their vacation with a smile!
Choose Your Renters Carefully
Most if not all peer-to-peer rental platforms “vet” your potential customers. The depth of this vetting varies and typically it’s a driving background check. For most RVers, their RV is the second largest purchase of their lives and our RV is truly our home away from home. We would not rent it to anyone we felt would not treat it in the same fashion as we do. Accidents can happen (that’s what insurance is for) but abuse or mistreatment of the RV doesn’t fly with us. I wouldn’t want anyone treating our RV like some people treat rental cars. Verify your rental platform rules; Good Sam’s Rentals rules clearly stated that we would not be forced to rent to anyone we didn’t feel comfortable renting to.
Pro Tip – Always take your renter on a test drive, no matter how long they have driven RVs. Every RV is different and you can get a much better feel if your renter can handle your rig.
Know the Paperwork
When you rent your RV to a customer, both parties are signing a binding contract. Make sure you familiarize yourself with a contract and where you need to sign and where your renter needs to sign. Also, make sure you have lived up to all the obligations of your end of the contract. Most rental companies require that the RV be serviced before it’s rented out and cleaned. Also, you must complete a thorough walk-through with your renter as well as a test drive. These facts will be critical in the event that there is some damage and then a claim would need to be filed. Like any contract, make sure you cross your t’s and dot your i’s.
Pro Tip — We always highlighted areas needing signatures or dates so we would not miss anything.
Renting Your RV Will Add Wear and Tear to It, Plan Accordingly
RV renting can generate a nice amount of income (we made over $20k one year) but it doesn’t come for free. Renting your RV will add extra maintenance costs to your RV. There will be extra generator usage and extra wear on your tires, not to mention all the other systems that will get increased usage. The added usage may require you to speed up your annual or seasonal maintenance. I highly recommend you keep track of the mileage, generator usage and tire age.
Pro Tip — keep a maintenance log and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on service guidelines.
RV Rentals is a Business! Treat It Like a Business
Every RV rental is another family’s house vacation. Respect and serve your customers as you would want to be served. RVing is a steep learning curve for newbies. Take time upfront with an extensive walk-through. Trust me, it will make the rental experience so much better for all parties.
Pro Tip — Record a video walk-through and send a copy to each renter or post it online and give your renters access.
Take Care of the Details
We have rented out our RV multiple times over the past 3 camping seasons. With RV rentals there is a learning curve, but once you hit your groove the rental process is smooth. Provide good, consistent customer service. Keep a clean, well-maintained RV and keep track of your rental paperwork. Make sure to really check over the condition of your RV upon return. In the first year, due to trust and time constraints on returns, we missed some damage caused by a customer that ended up coming out of our profits. All in all, if you take it seriously, it’s truly a great way to earn some good money off your RV.
Keith – CRO ( Chief RV Rental Officer) of Soulful RV Family