The Ultimate Guide to Renting Your RV Like a Boss

Renting your RV isn’t scary, it isn’t hard, in fact it’s a pretty easy process. But I get that lots of owners have questions, and hopefully this post gets many of those out of the way. 

I have spent a lot of time with owners that rent out their rigs, scoured the depths of Facebook groups, and analyzed others experiences, good and bad.

But here’s the truth. 100’s of RV owners are not only paying off their vehicles by renting them out, but they’re making a profit. And the public’s renewed interest in traveling by motorhome has fueled the growth of the rental market.

Now, here’s an overview of what you’re going to read:

What to know before renting out your RV?

How much can you make renting out your RV?

What to provide when renting out your RV?

When renting an RV do you allow them to pull a vehicle?

Enough talk, let’s dig into it!

What to know before renting out your RV?

When you’re looking into how to make money by renting out your RV it can be tough to let someone run off with it. But let me get this out of the way upfront. If you want to make money to pay off your motorhome or make a profit, you NEED to accept the fact that it will get dinged up. 

Repairs after renting out an RV
Repairs are inevitable when renting your RV but with the right insurance and processes you’ll be able to mitigate stress and expenses.

No way around it, but once you’re okay with that, it’s really a simple process.

While you may think you need to build a website, have multiple rigs, and find your own renters, there’s a much simpler way to do this. Most people use a rental site like Outdoorsy or RVShare, which are like AirBnBs for the RV world. These sites place your listing on their web page where renters can find them and sign up to use your rig.

Now, I know that there’s a lot of negative feedback about certain aspects of these companies. But overall, I truly believe that these companies do want you to succeed, because if you make money and win, they do too. Most companies actually provide you with onboarding calls, 1-on-1 coaching, and private Facebook groups to ensure you have a good experience.

Here’s a few pros and cons about these platforms and things you should consider before renting out your RV:

They manage bookings: All of these sites have online platforms that make it easy to arrange your RV’s schedule. Many have apps as well, although I have found that using the online platform is a lot easier.

Once you book your renter, they log all the information and documents you’ll need. 

In addition, you’re actually in full control of your RV’s schedule.

Work a fulltime job and can’t meet them until you’re off? Great, you can arrange your own pick-up and drop off times. Have a family trip planned in July? Just mark the dates as unavailable and you’re good to go!

A lot of owners actually use multiple platforms to maximize bookings, and in this case the sites won’t interact with each other so you’ll need to manually add dates to your schedule. A little bit more organization on your part there.

They help screen potential renters:

A driving record check before renting your rv out.

This is a huge help in deciding who to rent your RV to, and who to kick to the curb. Truth is no one is going to baby your rig like you will, BUT, screening prospects can definitely help you find good people that will take care of it. 

RVShare and Outdoorsy will actually perform DMV driving history checks on renters. They also offer renter profiles, which include reviews that owners have left for these customers.

In addition you’ll have the option to text prospects with an anonymous number beforehand, so you can ask any questions you might have. 

Seeing where they’re going, what their experience level is, and how many they have in their party are all great questions to ask.

Now here’s a pro tip. Once you’ve built up a few reviews and some business, I’ve found that if you set your required security deposits high (like $1000-$1500), and if you can hack it, your nightly fee, it helps push away low quality prospects. This is true in both my own exterior cleaning business AND while renting out RVs.

Payments and security deposits: Using a rental platform is super simple. If you run through RVShare or Outdoorsy they actually process the payment and deposit it directly into your bank account. They also collect rent before the reservation even begins meaning you don’t need to worry about contacting your customers afterwards.

And security deposits are extremely simple. Once you set a price, the site will collect and hold this until after the rental is finished. Platforms will release this back to the customer after 7 days as long as no damage has been found.

Fees: Here’s the deal, platforms like Outdoorsy and RVShare have to make money. So I understand the fact that they charge commission on your rentals. Typically these hover between 20-30%, which can eat into your profits, but that’s not necessarily what makes this a con for me.

It’s the fact that you’re completely left at the mercy of the platform. If they want to charge more, they can.

Here’s a pro tip when it comes to fees, two actually.

First, I have heard (though not personally experienced this) that you get discounted commissions when renting 3 or more rigs. Some owners actually form small groups to get this discount, but using the same account for scheduling and payment sounds like a logistical nightmare.

Second, a lot of owners will actually push returning clientele over to RVnGO. This site only charges you a 3% credit card processing fee instead of 20-30% commission, but you’re not going to generate many, if any, new bookings from here. It’s purely a play to lower commissions on returning renters.

The insurance they provide isn’t great: Companies like Outdoorsy and RVShare actually provide liability insurance for your rig. The customer has to select a deductible before requesting to rent, and most companies provide up to $1 million in general liability. 

But, here’s a few personal insights to this.

I’ve read a lot (and I mean A LOT) of horror stories about working with Outdoorsy or RVShare reps when it comes to insurance claims. Long delays, low payouts, no help, you name it. So because of this, most owners serious about renting their RVs actually purchase their own commercial policy that customers use instead of the platform’s. I personally recommend MBA Rental Insurance, as do many other owners.

Facebook users and their opinion on using commercial insurance for RV Rentals.
This is a Facebook post I looked at about using commercial insurance. As you can see, most owners use MBA Insurance.

No matter which coverage you choose, you’ll need to be sure that you have a detailed process to record damage as well as contracts in case something does happen.

Pictures are huge! Make sure you have several detailed photos within 24 hours of the start of the rental and several within 24 hours of the end.

And be sure to check with your own insurance to make sure they allow you to rent and use your own RV for personal use. Otherwise there’s a chance they’ll drop your coverage or deny claims if they figure out you’ve been renting behind their backs. 

Another reason most owners purchase their own commercial policies.

How much can you make renting out your RV?

The first question most owners ask is whether or not renting out their RV or travel trailer is profitable. The answer to that question is an, YES!

A post that I made ask how much can you make renting out your RV?
An honest and more accurate assessment of how much profit you can make renting out your own RV.
How much you make varies but anywhere from $10-$30,000 per year is a reasonable estimate.

Outdoorsy and RVShare claim you’ll be netting $40-$50,000 per year. But a more reasonable answer I got from other owners was around $10-$15,000 when you’re renting a travel trailer full-time, and closer to $20-$25,000 renting a Class A or C rig.

That’s a pretty good chunk of cash you can be raking in. While the numbers above are for those doing this full-time, I watched videos from several other avid RVers that paid off their motorhomes renting them out over weekends and holidays.

Now here’s a few things that I found you can do to maximize the money you make from your rentals:

  • Fill out your profile and vehicle information completely if you’re using Outdoorsy or RVShare. Make sure you’ve got a profile picture, a quick bio, a thorough RV description, and at least 5 staged photos of your rig. This came from an Outdoorsy employee that told me this will actually help you rank better and get more reservations.
  • Look at models similar to yours to see how often they’re being booked out and when. Also look at the prices. Outdoorsy actually suggests a price upfront that most of these owners run with. If you’re new to the game and can’t rely on reviews, you can throw out lower prices during peak seasons to attract more reservations.
  • Add some personality to your listing. I know my eyes are drawn to the ones with a unique picture and a unique title.

What to provide when renting out your RV?

This depends on you. If you’re new to renting and want to stick out, it may be worth adding a few extra amenities or items that are really unique. Think things like a paddleboard, Wi-Fi, I even saw one guy on Facebook that included a golf cart with his toy hauler!

A picture of things to provide in the kitchen while a renter is using your RV
A few things that can be included in the kitchen of your RV rental.

But I’ve also seen owners provide little to nothing to reduce the amount of cleanup and organization on their end. For example, the YouTube channel Drive North provides cooking utensils and fitted sheets for free. But beyond that customers either need to provide or pay a fee for things like the rest of their bedding.

Here’s a list of basic things that I definitely would include:

  • Plates, cups, and bowls
  • Silverware
  • Pots, pans, spatulas, etc.
  • Mattress protectors and fitted sheets
  • Toilet Paper
  • Broom and mop
  • Cleaning supplies
  • An instruction manual or link to a tutorial video (honestly, this will make your life so much easier)

And if you’d like to stand out you could provide things like: 

  • Coffee Makers
  • Grills
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Towels
  • Outdoor tables and chairs
  • Games
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • A generator for dry camping (most owners provide 4 hours per night and charge $3 per hour over that)

And as far as the customer goes, I would at the very least have them:

  • Clean the RV or trailer before returning it
  • And empty the waste tanks

Really the world’s your oyster when it comes to providing supplies and amenities. I can understand why some owners provide very little. With less comes less problems. But honestly I think if you want to stand out, especially in the beginning, you need a fully stocked RV or trailer AND unique items or amenities.

That being said, here’s a little pro tip I picked up from Outdoorsy. You can actually offer your renters bundled amenities to make a little extra cash. You could charge $75 for things like a fully-stocked kitchen upon arrival, or stocked linens (sheets, pillows, blankets, towels). If your guest doesn’t have the time you can also offer to clean your rig or empty the waste tanks for $150.

A lot of owners also worry about renters stealing items (and let’s be honest, it’s going to happen). But if you use a checklist after each rental you can charge for lost and missing items to cover your losses.

When renting an RV do you allow them to pull a vehicle?

Well, this question also truly depends on you as an owner. I personally wouldn’t (I feel like it’s more of a hassle than a benefit), but I do know some owners do. In the Facebook groups I belong to, this topic circulates occasionally, and it seems like most owners split 50/50 on the subject. 

A personal vehicle being pulled behind an RV. Something that many owners have questions about.
Some owners allow renters to pull personal vehicles behind their RV for a daily fee.

Many don’t, and they actually put a security seal in the hitch receiver to prevent owners from towing without permission. If they find the seal broken they charge the renter a pretty hefty fee (which is usually laid out in their own personal contract).

But there are owners who do feel comfortable doing this. Some screen the renter for experience, and the majority of them charge a daily fee. If there is more wear and tear on the vehicle and increased odds of an accident, you’ll want to factor in those costs.

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